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SBD/March 5, 2013/Colleges
Source: Framework In Place For Catholic 7 Breakaway From Big East In July
Published March 5, 2013
DOING WHAT HAD TO BE DONE: Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino during ESPN's coverage of the team's game against Cincinnati last night talked about the changes to the Big East, and he noted they were "being dictated by all the football programs because of money.” He said of the non-football schools, “Yes, they were getting more money. But they were sitting back as spectators and policy being dictated to them when they should have dictated it themselves because they had one of the most special basketball ingredients, as well as other sports, ever existed. So now breaking away, they'll have it once again. They'll add to their seven schools, they'll have a great basketball tradition and policy will not be dictated by one sport for the rest of them, so I admire what they've done." ESPN’s Sean McDonough noted, “Whatever this Big East now is going to be called next year is still going to be a pretty good basketball league.” ESPN’s Bill Raftery noted Pitino recommended ESPN’s Jay Bilas to be the commissioner of the new conference, to which Bilas replied, “He also recommended me for captain of the Titanic" (“Cincinnati-Louisville,” ESPN, 3/4).
BLUE SKIES: In Omaha, Henry Cordes writes if Creighton is "ultimately invited to join fellow Catholic universities in a new basketball-centric Big East Conference, its biggest consideration in whether to make the move might not even be an athletic one." As a Jesuit institution that "draws nearly two-thirds of its student body from beyond the boundaries of its home state, Creighton, by membership in the new league, would put its name and image in some of the nation's largest media markets." Representing a "major step up in athletic competition and prestige, a move to join the so-called 'Catholic 7' schools in a new Big East Conference would carry all kinds of implications for the Creighton campus." Cordes: "Regardless of what ultimately happens ... college athletics observers here and nationally say it's not at all surprising that Creighton would receive strong consideration from the new league. The school represents a good fit, academically and athletically" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 3/5).