OT: Big East split almost occured in 2003

From the Providence Journal (greatly edited version):

[b]Internal Big East documents that appeared on the Internet this week disclosed some of the discussions led by the Division I-A (or football) schools to exercise a split with the basketball schools once Miami and Virginia Tech accepted invitations to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The documents, which Big East officials confirmed yesterday were authentic, are the minutes of meetings held in July and October of 2003. The documents are included in two ongoing legal battles, one between the conference and Boston College and another pitting four Big East football schools against Miami and the ACC.

While the conference ultimately agreed to expand to a 16-school hybrid league by adding Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida as full members and DePaul and Marquette for all sports except football, the meeting minutes show just how chaotic, and fluid, the Big East’s membership problems were at that time.

A July 9, 2003 meeting came two weeks after Miami and Virginia Tech had accepted offers to leave for the ACC. BC and Syracuse were surprisingly bypassed by the ACC in favor of the Hokies and left to rebuild a badly damaged Big East football conference.

Presidents and athletic directors of the six remaining football schools (BC, UConn, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and West Virginia) came to a quick consensus to split from basketball partners Providence, Georgetown, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova.

The 16-school Big East begins play next fall. The group has amended the conference’s constitution and agreed to withdrawal and dissolution clauses that allow the group to break up with no penalty after five years. Anyone that leaves before five years is subject to a $5-million withdrawal penalty and must wait 27 months before departing.[/b]

Link to entire 17-paragraph article: Projo.com

So she wasn’t lying…

When Judy Rose came and talked to my class last semester, she seemed to think that the college sports landscape wasn’t through changing. She predicted a breakaway of the Big East basketball-only schools, and that they’d probably want 4 more to form a solid basketball conference (and that Charlotte would be one of those 4).

I actually have the minutes from the big east meeting if anyone wants them.

There was something about this on the Memphis board a few days ago. They were talking about a thread over on the Big East boards which contained a link to the documents (PDF file). It’s interesting to read, but also a little hard to read too. It’s amazing how close the Big East seemed to be to breaking up. Notre Dame is essentially what kept them together. One interesting thing to note was that during the meeting, lists were created of schools that the Big East would be interested in and those to dismiss any thought of.

Louisville (everyone supports)
Cincinnati (consider for all sports)
Central Florida (football only)
Temple (consider for all sports)
Army (football only)
Navy (football only)

Southern Miss
South Florida

During this discussion, it was mentioned that Cincinnati be considered as a viable option, but that “due diligence be done on their compliance with NCAA rules and regulations.” Also during the discussion, Dick McCormick from Rutgers asked that Central Florida’s candidacy be taken off the table. From everything I’ve read in there, Louisville and Cincinnati were the two teams the Big East wanted the most, and the only ones they really wanted from C-USA. Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB, ECU, and South Florida were all dismissed, though we know how that turned out for South Florida. Marquette, DePaul, Charlotte, Houston, TCU, Saint Louis, and Tulane were never mentioned, primarily it seems because their football programs were either non-existent or not strong enough to consider (this was, after all, during the discussion between football schools, so it was focused primarily on other football schools). Again though, we know how that turned out for Marquette and DePaul.

I’ve been hearing from just about everywhere that in 5 years shit’s gonna hit the fan again concerning the bigeast split and the ripple effect it will/might cause throughout some other conferences. Charlotte to win the A-10, 4 out of those 5 years, and then to greener pastures of a true bball powerhouse. I’m going to enjoy the A-10 while we are there, especially while laughing at the rubble that will be the C-USA.

[b]"If we had just up and left, it would've been disruptive to the point of destructive," he said. "In order to give them the opportunity to exist, if you will, and to grow, we had to expand on both sides. Our presidents were not prepared to stab them in the back the way some of the rest of us had been stabbed in the back."[/b]

So they stabbed Confernce USA in the back instead. Nice!

Five years is an eternity -> anything could happen. I hope we’ve learned through getting the dirty end of the stick on conf realignment, that we need to start building some sort of football at Charlotte so that when realignment comes again we are a player at the table, not an afterthought.

[i]Originally posted by NinerFan[/i]@Feb 25 2005, 01:19 PM [b] Five years is an eternity -> anything could happen. I hope we've learned through getting the dirty end of the stick on conf realignment, that we need to start building some sort of football at Charlotte so that when realignment comes again we are a player at the table, not an afterthought. [/b]
Here is what my concern is.

Per Hollywood’s comments above Judy saw this kind of thing occurring, heck she probably knew the minutes being an AD and all. She’s also said that Charlotte would be one of the 4 selected to form a solid basketball conference. If that’s the case, and she’s confident in it, I tend to doubt that the school would get serious about football. What’s the need if this is going to happen.

Though being in a league that looked like this would be nice:
Seaton Hall
St. Johns
St. Joes/Xavier or both

I would almost prefer for this not to be an option which would then force us to position ourselves as Ninerfan said and begin football.

The landscape of college sports will continue to change and only those schools who are in the best position for success, meaning having all major sports, will make it. It still wouldn’t shock me to see the BCS conference split from the NCAA completely and just become a minor league sports league.

I was thinking the same thing MK. If she is counting on that realignment in 5 years, I doubt she will make any effort to get a football program up and running. :frowning: As someone else said, a lot can happen in 5 years. I would rather see us start to get the ball rolling on a football program now than wait to see how things pan out.