Big East Commisioner Mike Aresco spoke with ESPN on Thursday about the imminent departure of Notre Dame, and the status of the conference. He stated there has been no discussion between the conference and the University regarding Notre Dame's desire to leave the Big East and move to the ACC. As it stands there is a required 27-month waiting period before a school can leave, and it remains to be seen whether or not the two sides can come to terms.
"They may make that request and then we'd have to negotiate with them because they are required to stay for two more seasons. If they do, we'll engage them in a negotiation. I can't tell you much more than that,"
In all likelihood the sides will reach an agreement, just as West Virginia, Pitt, and Syracuse have in recent years. Of those three school it was the Mountaineers who gave up the most in their divorce from the Big East, paying the conference $20 million. When pressed for more information on the split, Aresco remained resolute that he simply has no answers.
"We'll maintain a good relationship with Notre Dame. We've been very magnanimous. That's the way we should be. We wish Notre Dame well. We'll talk to them. We may be able to figure something out. We may not. We just don't know yet."
The ACC have expressed no desire to further expand after adding their third new member in the last two years. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are yet to finalize their move to the Atlantic Coast Conference. This represents a reprieve for the Big East and Mike Aresco, who have been rumored to be close to collapse– this is one area where the commissioner does have a stern answer.
It has been a terrible week for the conference in which Notre Dame has made plans for their exit, and today UCONN head basketball coach Jim Calhoun retired. Now the Big East hope to have some time to lick their wounds, and plan their next move.
For more on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish check out One Foot Down.