commissioner Mike Tranghese remembers celebrating on an April night in Atlanta after
won the national championship in women's basketball. It was his third celebration in less than a week, following the
title won by
men's championship won by
"I said to [former UConn men's coach]
That thread running through college athletics and causing so many restless nights is conference realignment. The celebrating stopped when Tranghese discovered the
"I couldn't adequately describe my feelings [toward the ACC] -- you can trust me on that," Tranghese said last week. "I was raised and taught to do things in a specific way. I just disagree with the way things happened. And that's never going to change."
After losing Miami,
The Big East will hold a press conference today , following the annual meeting of school presidents and athletic directors at a Manhattan hotel. The meeting is a formality. Sources said presidents of the 11 remaining schools approved the plan last week. Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida will become full members, participating in all sports. DePaul and Marquette will join in all sports except football.
The Big East's work is far from over. Divisional alignment for the basketball conference isn't expected to be part of today's announcement, and the possibility of adding a ninth team to the football conference has been temporarily tabled, sources said.
Conference sources have confirmed all 16 members have agreed to a minimum five-year commitment. That will allow the football schools and basketball schools to reassess their positions after the 2009- 10 season. If a split takes place at that time, both new conferences would retain their automatic
Early in the negotiations, a split seemed inevitable.
"I'd like to take credit for [the unity], but I had nothing to do with it," Tranghese said. "In the past six months, our presidents have spent more time with the daily athletic events in this league than they probably did in the previous 24 1/2 years. They feel good. And it will work."
Conference USA is expected to respond quickly to its losses, adding