With the passage of time, the possibility of a split between the football schools and non-football schools in the Big East Conference appears more remote than ever.
New Commissioner Mike Aresco addressed the issue while in Chicago over the weekend, indicating that the westward movement of the conference is essential to media deliberations and securing the future of the league.
“We have two sports that are equally important, and they can help each other,” Aresco told The DePaulia, the DePaul student newspaper. “The basketball-only schools derive great benefit from being with our football-basketball schools. The football-basketball schools benefit from the wonderful, strong heritage of the basketball schools. That, together, will mean a lot as we talk to the various networks.”
While disappointed with Notre Dame’s recent announcement that the Irish would be moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference, he indicated the decision of Notre Dame to finally make a move may have had a settling effect.
“They decided to move on, but that’s a clarifying moment in some ways in college sports. We think now that there will be a period of stability.
“One never knows in this business, but I believe that, I think a lot of people believe that, and I think that’ll enable all the conferences now to consolidate.”
He suggested that the conference would also consider a dedicated Big East Network, but his primary focus remains on negotiating the best possible television deal with a major network or a combination thereof.
“We need to do a good TV/media deal. We need to do a deal that gives our schools the resources they need, that gives them the confidence financially, the stability they need. And also the exposure they need.”
As for a recent report that a study had been commissioned to consider changing the name of the conference, “I don’t want to change our name. We want to tell our story while forging a very bright future.”