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PC & URI In The Atlantic Ten?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

 

In the words of Alanis Morissette, "isn't it ironic, don't you think?"

Years after the late Dave Gavitt reportedly decided not to invite the University of Rhode Island into the Big East Conference, it is his Providence Friars who may be looking to join the Atlantic Ten.

It is certainly far too premature to predict that such a bold move will take place, but multiple reports Tuesday claim that the A-10 is considering inviting the Big East's seven non-football members into their league to create a megaconference of 21 teams.

These reports come on the heels of meetings in New York between new Big East commissioner Mike Aresco and the leaders of those 7 schools.  Providence College, Seton Hall, St. John's, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette and DePaul have all been watching their league change by the second and are apparently now ready to take a stand if they can make it work.

Ideally, those seven schools would love to dissolve the league and go out on their own to create a strong basketball conference.  However, they may not have the tho-thirds vote neccessary to do it because 2013 newcomer Temple apparently is a full-voting member of the conference along with other football schools UConn, Cincinnati and South Florida.

If the Owls did not have that full vote, the basketball schools would have the two-thirds neccessary to dissolve the league.

For the last decade, schools like Providence have been reluctant to break away from the football schools because they feared that the money they would receive in television revenue would pale in comparison to what they made by staying aligned with them.

Now, the non-football schools are realizing that a new television deal for the Big East without Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Notre Dame may be a lot less profitable than once thought.  That has led them to explore other options.

Ideally, the 7 non-football schools would break away on their own and create a solid 10-14 team league consisting of non FBS football schools.  Luring the likes of Xavier, Dayton, St. Joe's, St. Louis, Butler and VCU would seem like a good idea if they were willing to leave the A-10 to join forces with them.

The problem is that the Atlantic Ten seems to be on much more solid ground giving them the power in these negotiations.

The talk of a 21-team super conference could involve a 20-game schedule where each team in the league plays every other team once with 10 games at home and 10 on the road.  It could also involve two divisions of 10 and 11 teams respectively.

Apparently the Catholic schools aren't in a rush to do something fast, but these latest developments indicate that they are finally looking out for themselves and trying to see if they can separate from their football playing brothers.

In this man's opinion, a 21-team A-10 would not be the way to go for those Catholic schools.  Instead, they should consider putting together a smaller league where rivalries could develop based upon geography, tradition and home-and-home series.  These were all things that the Big East Conference was originally built upon.

 

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