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Lots Of News Reports, No Official Announcements

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I both love and hate this part of the news cycle.

On one side, everybody's doing their damnedest to get the best possible story, so we're getting lots of news about the ongoing saga of The Seven leaving the Big East to start a new conference.

On the other side, things are reported, then denied, then amended, then shot down, then clarified, then adjusted and on and on and on. The whole thing starts to make you wonder who you can trust for news and and start asking why people won't just keep their mouths shut until official announcements can be made.

Most notable in the department of telling everything possible is the information that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Michael Hunt got from someone in the general vicinity of the Marquette athletic department. Let's run it down, shall we?

  • Butler and Xavier are all but on board to bring the conference to nine. Creighton, Virginia Commonwealth, Dayton or St. Louis are the leading choices to get it to 10 or possibly 12.
  • Marquette expects that the TV payouts will be "no less" than the $1.5 million per school per year that The Seven currently receive from their Big East TV deal.
  • Georgetown president John DeGioia is hesitant to leave.
  • Marquette was prepared to leave the Big East six months ago, and the departures of Rutgers and Louisville swung everyone but Georgetown firmly over to their side.
  • Marquette will be moving all 12 sports to the new league.

Marquette's expectation regarding the TV money is backed up by reports by Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel. Various TV people told Thamel that the money could go as high as $2 million per school per year, with $3 million being a very optimistic point of view. Thamel went digging in the Big East bylaws and came out with a few interesting tidbits as well.

  • Dissolving the Big East would require two votes from two football schools, so that's off the table.
  • By activating the clause that allows the entire non-football section to walk away together without exit fees, it also allows the non-football schools to 1) keep their NCAA basketball tournament units (how the NCAA pays the conferences for tournament appearances) and 2) because there's seven schools with at least five years together, the new league will automatically qualify for an automatic bid to the NCAA basketball tournament.
  • The Big East's bylaws don't cover the issue of who gets the Big East name in the situation where the non-football schools leave.

One final note from ESPN's updated story, relative to that last point from Pete Thamel: Part of the deal of leaving as a group with no exit fees is waiting for 27 months before leaving. However, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia were not held to that 27 month standard, so there's wiggle room on that issue to be decided by the lawyers. If leaving the Big East name behind buys The Seven their way out of the conference following this school year, I'm fine with that.

Did we miss anything floating around out there? Hit the comments section and be sure to link to where you got it from!