So today is going to mark a new day in American Collegiate Athletics. One that brings together the traditional standard bearers of NCAA Men’s Basketball with contemporary new teams dying to make a name for themselves in a big picture that has been dominated by school who have football teams which aid in their monetary domination of the sport. That being said the seven Catholic schools of the Big East (Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Villanova, Seton Hall, St. Johns, Providence) have had enough and have voted to defect from the once dominant league to form their own premier basketball conference. One can only blame poor management on behalf of the football schools in the conference giving Tulane full membership. Having already taken action to make their endeavors sustainable invitations have been extended to Xavier University and Butler of the A10 to for a suspected start in the fall of 2013. The invitations from sources close to the schools’ athletic department have been accepted
It is rumored that these 9 teams are looking for tenth team in either Creighton, Saint Louis University or Dayton providing a conference map that connects some of the largest basketball television markets in the country minus Detroit and even then Detroit will be forced to watch because Michigan and Michigan State cannot ignore the Holy Hoops Monster that will be just at its doorstep. What these universities and colleges hope to create is the Catholic school equivalent of the Big Ten and they will be able to do so once the President of Georgetown University signs off on their defection from a conference they have 30+ seasons in.
What was originally thought to believe the creation of a twenty team or twenty one team Atlantic 10 conference quickly became talks about a league of there own. One this Billiken alum has always dreamed about since accepting my offer to Saint Louis University. It is well known that Saint Louis U. President The Most Reverend Father Lawrence Biondi has always wanted to recreate his Alma Mater of Georgetown in the Gateway City now there is a real chance that dream can happen. It’s a shame that the potential union could not have happened while former SLU coach Rick Majerus was still alive.
It is already known that Temple paid $2 Million to exit the A10 and enter the Big East as a full member next season it is unknown however what the price tag will be for Xavier, Butler and the tenth team to exit as the conferences by laws are kept private, however the price tag will be worth it for all who take part in this shift. Naysayers suggest that there will be remorse to those who take park in realignment but with the BCS closer to adopting a playoff season and lucrative television contract money falling through their fingers there is no better time for these schools to take action and change NCAA sports beyond basketball and football.
The only Catholic school worth noting that gets the proverbial shaft would be Saint Joseph’s. Fordham University and St. Bonaventure are the bastard twins that ruined the Atlantic 10’s chances of maintaining its current RPI strength and contract deals it just negotiated with NBC, CBS and ESPN. Paraphrasing from a conversation has on Twitter; Who wants to share money with Fordham and travel to St. Bonaventure?
We are not sure as of yet whether this will be a ten school league or twelve school league but needless to say the prospect of putting on Creighton, SLU and Dayton gives great regional and historical rivalries to watch next year. Who can deny the amazing fan base of the Dayton Flyers who travel EVERYWHERE or the meteoric rise of Creighton and the traditions of Rick Majerus bestowed upon not one team in this Holy Hoops conference but TWO. It goes with out saying that this SLU Yorker is going to be attending both the Big East Conference Tournament at Madison Square Garden and The Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament at the brand new Barclay Center. For more information on this follow ESPN and @TomTimm among all the others devoted to reporting on college hoops.