Well, a departure date is set, the lawyers and schools will get their share of money, and the Catholic 7 leaves the drawn-out crumbling of what has been the Big East with the name.
The current Big East. You know. The one that will have to choose a new name, is on the bad end of the divorce. They lose the name, the records, the Garden, the dog. You get the idea. This collapse has been over a decade in the making. On June 30, the Catholic 7 pack their bags and move out. Or is it the other way around? In this divorce analogy, they got the house, so the castoff schools have to leave, right? I'm confused.
The old Big East, which will probably rename itself the America 12 Conference, has a good sob story.
With the talk of realignment over the past several years and whispers of who might be going where, and who is gonna be a super conference, the Big East was a wounded animal that would be begging us to put it out of its misery while Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Louisville will all be gone by 2014.
You can't say the Big East didn't try to save itself. Adding Conference USA schools, Army, Navy and bringing back Temple, it was an attempt to cover the cracks in an infrastructure that would never be up to code. TCU, San Diego State and Boise State saw those cracks, along with the writing on the wall and bailed.
Then there were the basketball-only schools. They won't bail. They'll stick with the conference through this tough time, right? In a perfect world, yes. In a world where money talks, the Catholic 7 wanted out before they got buried in the rubble.
In the process of leaving, they took the name with them, which is fair, and stripped the conference down to an Atlantic 10-style conference. That's not nice, though. Speaking of A10, they'll most likely add Xavier and Butler too.
If there is one school that got screwed the hardest in the divorce, it has been Connecticut. Not with football, but with basketball. The Huskies tried to get out. The ACC didn't want them when they were adding Pitt and Syracuse. Did they beg the Catholic 7 to let them come along for basketball? It must've been a kick in the teeth when Louisville and Notre Dame got the green light to join the ACC. You hope that Connecticut can find a new home eventually.
Today is bitter sweet for Pittsburgh, Syracuse and the Catholic 7 as they wrap up their final game this weekend and then head to Madison Square Garden for the final tournament together.
At least the old Big East will get a $2 million check from Notre Dame at some point. The Irish can get an earlier start in the ACC.