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After reading the article I am left wondering who will represent the five basketball schools? It seems the head of the Big East is siding with the secessionists. It gives the appearance that the rest of the teams are leaderless on the issue.

The time may be coming for the SLU administration to take a more vocal leadership statement to lock up a quality athletic/basketball future.

From an overall athletic persective, what is the state of the athletic programs of the five BE schools? Do they field competitive teams. Do they field the same teams that we field (hockey, lacross, tennis?)

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1380 had Mike DeCoursey from the Sporting News on the other day (he's their college hoops expert) and he thinks that any type of CUSA Big East merger is a dream at best in the short term. Woolard was also on yesterday and he indicated similar.

Who even knows anymore....a week ago everyone KNEW that Syracuse and BC would be joining Miami in the Big East. I'm happy that the CUSA folks are at least making an effort to keep the member institutions around. I just hope Woolard is on the front end of the train heading toward the realignment bridge and that the Billikens make it across before it collapses into the Horizon league.

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>After reading the article I am left wondering who will

>represent the five basketball schools? It seems the head of

>the Big East is siding with the secessionists. It gives the

>appearance that the rest of the teams are leaderless on the


I like your point Butch. "Leaderless" not only on this issue but leaderless period after 2004-2005 season and also without an automatic bid (NCAA rules require 6 teams who have been around in the conference for at least 5 years for auto bid). Others have commented that the 5 remaining BE schools may not be the ones able to call the shots as to who shall be joining them in a revamped BE b-ball league but, rather, may have terms dictated to them by the CUSA b-ball schools (who have actually been stronger lately than the 5 BE b-ball schools).

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To wit:


(Football & Basketball)

• Syracuse

• Boston College

• Rutgers

• West Virginia

• Pittsburgh

• Connecticut

• Cincinnati

• Louisville

• Notre Dame*

* Basketball-only member


(Basketball only)

• Georgetown

• Providence

• St. John's

• Villanova

• Seton Hall

• Marquette*

• Xavier*

• Dayton*

• DePaul*

• Saint Louis/Charlotte*

*New member


That looks great for SLU, unless the Big East decides to go with 10 teams and chooses Charlotte over SLU (which might make geographical sense). My hope is that they decide on 12 teams, keeping all of the above 11 and adding one team. One of the issues is Notre Dame's proposed decision to go with the football playing schools (but if they aligned with the non-football schools, the new Big East could retain its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament; the new all-sports conference would have to wait some years, anyway).

The next question is what happens to the Conference USA schools left out in the cold?



•East Carolina

•South Florida

•Southern Miss




Could they survive as an eight-team all-sports conference, or would they prefer to disband and join other conferences (Sun Belt, WAC, Mountain West)? It's already bordering on mid-major, but they could add teams like Central Florida and Marshall. I feel really bad for Memphis in this scenario. I doubt the ACC would invite Memphis over South Carolina and Kentucky. If the SEC loses a team, would they welcome Memphis (probably over Tennessee's dead body!)? Could Memphis be the new Big East's 12th team if they play football in another conference? Houston and TCU (and maybe Tulane) might feel better in the WAC or MWC.

I believe the Atlantic 10 would survive even losing Xavier and Dayton, though it would slip closer to being a mid-major caliber conference.

Again, I wish we knew how involved SLU is in all the discussion. They should not cease to toot their horn about what they would bring to the table. I really hope Father Biondi and Doug Woolard are being very vocal among the other schools and are not just along for the ride. My thought is that if SLU gets left out of the new Big East, then it HAS to look to the Mountain West or Western Athletic (WAC). The current memberships of those conferences are:


•Boise State

•Fresno State


•Louisiana Tech



•San Jose State





•Air Force


•Colorado State

•New Mexico

•San Diego St.




Neither league is a great option for SLU, especially considering travel, but they may be more appealing options than the Missouri Valley or the Horizon. The MVC might not even want SLU, considering its conference tournament is played on what is currently SLU's home court. The Valley might figure they'd never be able to send amother team to the NCAA Tournament except for their occasional at-large bid.

I'm sorry to keep going on and on about this, folks, but I can't get it out of my head. I hope the resolutions are announced before this October so that I'll be able to enjoy the basketball season without this issue.

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I hope you are right about Oct. but that might be a push. I am not so sure why you think SLU is to far west geographically for a BE type conference? You can get to Dayton and XU quicker than Chicago and Milwaukee. In fact, Milwaukee might be the farthest from all the proposed schools except DePaul. By the time you factor in DU, XU, DePaul, and MU along with SLU - you have 1/2 of the conference within a 6 hour driving distance from each other - better than the Big 12 and SEC.

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