The seven Big East catholic schools are interested in leaving. The Atlantic 10 is interested in expanding.
According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, the A-10 has discussed the possibility of a 21-team league should the non-football Big East schools become “free agents.”
The A-10, which has already added Butler and Virginia Commonwealth, could take a major step in developing a high-profile basketball league if the 21-team super conference comes to fruition.
From Katz’s story: The seven schools have a majority vote, with the three remaining FBS members being Connecticut, Cincinnati and South Florida. But the group of seven doesn’t have the two-thirds vote to dissolve the league. Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Owls are a full voting member, even though they don’t join in all sports until July 1, 2013.
Industry sources say they couldn’t see how or why Temple would side with the seven Catholic schools to vote to dissolve the league.
The seven Big East Catholic schools would have a hard time leaving because they would have to forgo NCAA tournament assets. But the A-10 would welcome them with open arms and promise a more lucrative television deal. The A-10 signed a new rights deal with NBC, CBS and ESPN but hasn’t finished all of its rights fees, especially its digital platform.
If UConn can’t get into the ACC or B1G (aka the Big 10), can it follow these seven schools and make 22? Can the Huskies remain a “football-only” member of the Big East? Is it worth becoming a football independent?
These are no doubt difficult times in Storrs. UConn better hope the seven schools stay. If not, it better hope the A-1o has room for 22.