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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All Catholic Conference?

Interestingly enough, He'll only serve
in an advisory capacity.
It's actually a bit surprising to hear it's taken this long, but the Big East's Catholic non-football schools are considering an exit strategy in light of recent changes to the conference. The conference's basketball product has been weakened by defection and diluted by expansion to the point that it bears little resemblance to the conference of which several of the Catholic schools were charter members in 1979.

As these talks grow stronger, the coming weeks and months will lead to discussion and debate on who owns the right to the Big East name and all the comes with it, including the brand and its NCAA tournament automatic bid. If the Catholic schools - currently seven of the ten voting members until new members join in July - decide to take their ball and go home, does the name go with them? Does it remain with the football members, who will again be at full and increased numbers this summer? Do the two sides make a decision to dissolve the conference as we know it?

If the Catholic schools strike out on their own, common sentiment is that they may look to team up with other urban, Catholic institutions Xavier, Dayton, Saint Louis, Butler, and Crieghton, either through merging into the Atlantic 10, where most of these schools (and several other, less prominent Catholic schools) currently reside, or through creation of a new conference.

And that new conference will need a name. While the (Pope) Urban Conference is tempting, until further notice, given its basketball focus, I'm calling the yet-to-exist conference the MarchDiocese.
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