First it was to Lenn Robbins in the NY Post this morning, reporting that the Big East would expand to twelve football teams, double the football exit fees to $10m (with no change for basketball), and that Villanova successfully blocked Temple's admission for all-sports. Now Brett McMurphy is seconding that report.
1. Big East football is dying, and yet the conference's first (and only) priority is to preserve undeserved privilege for its eight basketball programs no matter what the cost. That is exactly why Pittsburgh and Syracuse left for the ACC. They're conceivably adding a second team in Texas now instead of, you know, a program that actually plays in the Northeast in Temple. The fact that John Marinatto still has comfortable job security (as do Jim Burr and Tim Higgins!) speaks volumes about where the league's priorities are at right now.
2. Given how these leaks are coming from John Marinatto's trusted mouthpieces, there's still hope that the Big East football schools aren't going along with raising the exit fees. That would be foolish and unnecessary. The only scenario where it makes sense to up the exit fees is if the conference where to split. None of the football schools can afford to be trapped in a conference with eight unwelcome leaden anchors.
3. Not only is raising the exit fee a bad idea, but the basketball programs kept their exit fee at only $5 million dollars to make sure Notre Dame maintained precious negotiating leverage. Yep. Priorities are crystal clear. The only things the Big East conference cares about are Touchdown Jesus and filling seats at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Blow it up, Tim and Ollie. Blow it up.
Update: surprise, surprise, the leaks may end up being wrong. With C-USA and the MWC merging, there's no need to up the exit fee. Why would the likes of UCF and Boise want to stick around in that monstrosity?
Update2: no vote Sunday, although Blaudschun says everything is still going to happen.