Basketball schools in Big East are finally fed up

Looks like Louisville made its great escape from the Big East just in time.

The past 24 hours has been filled with reports that the seven Catholic basketball-centered schools in the Big East Conference are leaning toward either trying to dissolve the conference or exiting the fading league, which has or is about to lose important members West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rutgers and Louisville.

DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Marquette and Villanova are all upset over the league's decision to bring in former C-USA schools in hopes of boosting football television revenue. Apparently, the last straw came when the Big East announced that it was admitting Tulane in all sports.

That addition does nothing for the all-important RPI numbers at the basketball-centric schools, not to mention home attendance. The basketball schools have finally grown tired of the football schools calling all the shots.

If the seven do pull out, they have the makings of a strong basketball league. There is talk they will try to add a few more schools, possibly Xavier, Butler, Saint Louis and maybe one or two more. That would be a strong 10-team basketball conference that would return the Big East to its roundball roots. A 10-team league, with a home-and-home 18-game schedule would be a good TV draw, especially in the Northeast.

Conference re-alignment has all been about expansion. Perhaps we are about to score one for contraction.

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