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Louisville wants out

Louisville is making its intention to leave the Big East public: "Tom Jurich told the Big East board of directors that the Cardinals want to be in the Big 12 or the ACC, opting for transparency by making members aware of his school's true intentions." Also troubling for the cohesion of the Big East is the prospect that UCONN is maneuvering to leave, albeit more discretely than Louisville: "The report also says that while UConn has publicly maintained that it wants to remain a member of the Big East, privately it would like to join the ACC along with Notre Dame." Of interest to the Mountain West conference is what this instability will do for the perception of the Big East and, ultimately, how that perception will affect TV negotiations this September. The timing comes right after the Big XII selected Bob Bowlsby, former Stanford AD, to become its new chancellor. Former interim chancellor Chuck Neinas accepted WVU and TCU to keep the conference viable, but refused to expand further until a full-time chancellor had been found. With that out of the way, Louisville's announcement seems to be well timed. That begs the question of what this means for the future of the Mountain West and its relationship with Boise State and San Diego State University. "Full steam ahead" might mean full steam ahead with the MW. This also leads to more speculation about the 12th member of the Big XII if Louisville joins. Could another BE team be on the way out? Could a Mountain West or Conference USA team be tapped instead?

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