Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 12/11/12

Looking at unstable future and the possibility of a drastically cut television deal, the seven remaining non-football schools in the Big East met Monday to discuss possibly breaking away from the league and forming their own separate conference. The development comes less than a week after CBSSports.com reported that the Big East's next TV deal could be worth as little as $60 million annually — quite a drop from the $100 million contract the league was hoping for. The reality of $40 million decrease could be an impetus for the non-football schools — St. John's, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Marquette, Villanova, DePaul and Providence —to leave the conference that basketball built. Big East commissioner Mike Aresco reportedly attended the meeting. The television money would only be a fraction of what was expected before Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Louisville, and Rutgers bolted from the Big East over the past 15 months.   The remaining schools claim that there is less incentive for the non-football schools to stay in the dwindling league and their only recourse is forming a basketball-only league and perhaps inviting other schools without FBS-level football programs to join.  Schools like Butler, Xavier, St. Louis, VCU, Dayton, George Mason and Creighton have all been mentioned as candidates. A source said a decision, one way or another, is expected before July 1 — the date Memphis, Houston, SMU and University of Central Florida are scheduled to join the Big East as all-sports members. Most observers have speculated that the non-football schools would be better off with their own league.   It's still a shame that while the same Big East East teams that infected the conference with football are the same ones that have turned their backs on the ailing basketball league. Ironically, the mediocre Big Least football league is what has killed the once great basketball conference.

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