The seven non-
The exit of Georgetown,
"The tragedy that took place in Newtown on Friday should be the focus of the thoughts of the people in Connecticut and all Husky fans this weekend," UConn President Susan Herbst said in statement. "The University of Connecticut believes that the Big East Conference will continue to be a strong and exciting conference that is comprised of highly-regarded national universities. … We ask our fans to steer all passion and concern to Newtown, and we will honor those lost when we gather together as a university community for events this upcoming week."
As hinted by the statement, UConn officials were privately angered by the decision of the seven presidents to conduct this business on Saturday, just a day after the horrific tragedy at
In the meantime, the Big East Conference, which was formed in 1979 around a core including several of the schools that left it on Saturday, is due to break up in 2015, if not sooner. The schools are bound to give 27 months' notice before leaving, which would place it at the start of the 2015-16 academic year, but precedent indicates that negotiations will bring those departures sooner.
"The basketball institutions have notified us that they plan to withdraw from the Big East," commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. "The membership recognizes their contributions over the long distinguished history of the Big East. The 13 members of the conference are confident and united regarding our collective future."
To be decided is who will retain the Big East brand name, the departing schools or the ones left behind and entering the league in the next couple of years. And tens of millions of current league funds, including exit fees paid or soon to be paid by the schools who have already departed, such as
As this is all sorted out, the Big East will have a revolving door over the next several seasons. Remaining in the league with UConn, the last founding member, are
The Big East, as currently constituted, will have a 12-team football conference next season with six new members joining, including
Notre Dame, which is moving to the
Tulane was invited to join in all sports after Rutgers left, a move that apparently pushed the seven basketball-driven schools to make this move.
In other words, even the most avid UConn fans will be hard-pressed to remember and name their league opponents over the next few years, unless UConn is able to gain an invitation to one of the growing major conferences such as the ACC or Big Ten.
The league to be formed by the seven schools that departed Saturday figures to look for more basketball schools, perhaps from the