NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Hollis Thompson #1 of the Georgetown Hoyas shoots against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the quarterfinals of the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2012 in New York City. …
CINCINNATI - The Big East conference is officially breaking up.
Commissioner Mike Aresco announced that after several weeks of talks, the league has reached an agreement on the separation of the league’s members Friday.
Officials said the deal will allow for an “orderly formation of a new conference by the seven basketball schools.”
He said the separation will become effective July 1.
The agreement is still subject to formal approval by the league’s board.
“I am pleased that this agreement has been reached,” Aresco said in a release. “With the long-term well-being of our outstanding institutions and their student-athletes of paramount importance, each group worked through a number of complex issues in an orderly, comprehensive and amicable manner marked by mutual respect. We part ways as friends and colleagues and look forward to the success of both conferences.”
The presidents of the seven basketball universities jointly issued a statement.
“We are grateful to Commissioner Michael Aresco for spearheading an agreement that truly represents the best path forward for each of our great institutions and the thousands of student-athletes who compete for our schools annually. It is a great credit to Mike, our colleagues, and all involved that we were able to work through a host of highly complex and time-sensitive issues in such a short period of time. We are pleased that we reached this amicable and mutually-beneficial separation by approaching each issue with a spirit of cooperation and shared respect.”
According to a report by USA Today, the seven Catholic schools will take the Big East name for the basketball-dominated league and hold the league’s postseason tournament at Madison Square Garden.
The report states the football-playing schools are expected to split about $100 million of a $110 million Big East reserve fund.
Officials at the University of Cincinnati said the school stands to gain about $30 million in payments thanks to the unraveling of the Big East.
Those remaining football schools are likely to newly-formed league that could be called the “America 12 Conference,” according to ESPN reports.
To read the original USA Today report, click here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/bigeast/2013/03/08/catholic-7-seven-split/1970647/ .
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