Big East commissioner Mike Aresco spoke Monday morning at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce breakfast.
Some of the highlights:
*It’s been reported that UConn AD Warde Manuel has lobbied for the Huskies to be included in the 2013 Big East tournament. Aresco, though, remains firm on the school’s ban.
“That’s over for this year,” Aresco said. “They won’t be in this year’s tournament. We’d welcome them back the following year and we’d be delighted to have them back.”
“By the way, they’ve corrected everything,” the commissioner continued. “They have a terrific APR now. They’re doing much better. This is just one of those things. It happened and it’s just something they have to get through.”
*Aresco on TV deal: “We’re getting closer. We don’t know when it will exactly conclude, but we’re getting closer. We think we could end up doing a deal with multiple networks. We just don’t know yet.”
*Aresco on expansion: “We probably will at some point add a 12th team. We’re going to have 11 when Navy comes in 2015…There’s no urgency, but we think we’ll probably think about adding a 12th team. But beyond that, you don’t need numbers for numbers sake.”
*Aresco on maintaining rivalries: “It’s going to be harder. We’re hoping to do it, though. We’re hoping to have cross-scheduling and that some of the Catholic schools will want to continue to have relationships with our schools. They had their reasons and they wanted to get back to their roots as basketball-playing schools, and we understand that.”
*Aresco on the ‘Big East’ name: “Our goal is to keep the name. It’s built up a great deal of brand equity despite some of the setbacks. It’s a great brand with a great name and has a great history.”
*During his speech at the breakfast, Aresco stressed the importance of being “geographically cohesive.” He mentioned that the Big East will span from Connecticut to Florida to Texas, but “probably not further than that.”
*The Big East/SEC challenge will not continue, Aresco said.