MWC Realignment: Big East's Aresco & Houston admin speak

Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

New Year's Day brought no new news in the ongoing Mountain West Conference realignment that started Monday with the return of the Boise St. Broncos to the MWC. But that doesn't mean there was nothing to report. MW Connection has the round up.

New Year's Day brought no new news in the ongoing Mountain West Conference realignment that started Monday with the return of the Boise St. Broncos to the MWC. But that doesn't mean there was nothing to report.

There was an Associated Press report Tuesday morning that was basically a brush off of the Boise St. Broncos from Big East commissioner Mike Aresco. The report pulled no punches from the start:

(The) Big East tried to work a deal to keep Boise State on board, but was ''unwilling'' to give the Broncos the deal that kept them in the Mountain West.

''We worked hard with Boise,'' Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday. ''We explored a lot of different ways to keep them. No question. Ultimately, we were unwilling to do the things they wanted. Our membership was unwilling to make the deal the Mountain West made with them.''

The AP report was largely a recap of Monday's developments and a bit of clarification of the deal that Boise took - namely the provision that allows the MWC's media partner, CBS Sports Network, to allow the conference to sell packages of its games to other networks.

AP and many other outlets have reported that the deal will allow teams that appear on national TV more often to make more money - as much as $500,000 for Saturday games. The deal also packages Boise State home games separately and allows teams that make BCS bowl games to keep half the payout money from those bowl games.

AP reports that the San Diego St. Aztecs are "reconsidering" their involvement in the Big East and Aresco had a seemingly off-the-cuff answer:

''I don't know the deal with San Diego State,'' Aresco said. ''That could come clear in the next few days. We're in close touch with them.''

Meanwhile, the Houston Cougars' administration issued a statement late Monday, reported the Houston Chronicle's Joseph Duarte in his blog.

The statement pointedly did not mention the Big East at all and, as many message board posters pointed out Monday night, read a bit like a resume for other conferences that may be considering adding Houston - namely the MWC:

"We are undoubtedly disappointed in the latest conference realignment shuffle. As stated throughout these developments, we will continue to concentrate on the best interests of the University of Houston and its athletics department and focus on the issues we can control. We are always working towards long-term stability as our brand continues to grow with the help of a very viable market in the City of Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, and a great fan base. Combine that with our history of athletic and academic achievements along with the beginning of facility upgrades and we believe we offer a promising and established athletics program."

Well... OK then.

Lastly, those snarky, passionate disbelievers over at Deadspin weighed in on Boise State's move with this memorable headline: Boise State is Boning The Big East Before Their First Date.

Subtle.

The blog entry is essentially a short rehash of ESPN's reporting on the subject.

But true to form Deadspin form, Dom Cosentino pulls no punches in his summation:

Imagine: Boise State would rather fork over $10 million just to not join the Big East. This after TCU had paid $5 million last year to do the same thing. The Big East is still without a basketball television contract after this year, and its TV deal for football expires after next season. At this rate, the league's best plan to stay afloat is by collecting exit fees.

Ouch. Guess that's life in the Big City East...

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