The Big East needs a new commissioner and, more important, a new television contract fast.
Boise State and Louisville reportedly are mulling their Big East exit strategies. And it’s pretty obvious those may not be the only two schools wary about the league’s future and searching for other options.
CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy reports Boise State has not given the Mountain West Conference formal notice it is withdrawing from the league. San Diego State, Houston, Memphis, SMU and Houston have all given notice to their leagues they plan to leave. Since the Broncos have already signed a Big East contract, the school would have to pay $5 million if it backed out by June 30, 2013, and $10 million if it backed on July 1, 2013, or later.
“We are actively monitoring the changing landscape in college athletics and remain committed to making the best long-term decisions for Boise State,” a university spokesman told CBSSports.com.
The Idaho Statesman also reported Boise State had asked the Big East to help it find a home for its other sports since the Western Athletic Conference, it’s original destination for non-football sports, is in danger of folding after defections. While all new members were hoping the Big East would retain its access to college football’s new playoff system, Boise State’s primary concerns had been about television contract revenue and accommodating its non-football sports.
While the New York Times reported the Big East has a chance to exceed television revenue projections due to the competitive television network landscape, CBSSports.com cited an anonymous source suggesting other league’s new contracts would cut into how much revenue would really be on the table.
Louisville was among the current Big East members hoping to join the Big 12 or ACC. ESPN.com reports school officials made those rumors official, opting to inform the Big East presidents of its long-term goals. It’s a much different approach than other schools took, with Syracuse and Pittsburgh reportedly startling all members when word spread they were joining the ACC.
The Big East is scheduled to hold its spring meetings April 21-23. It’s another opportunity for Big East leaders to try to meet the challenge of unifying the troubled league.