Big East completes football-basketball breakup


NEW YORK — The Big East made its split official Friday, with seven basketball schools breaking away from the football-playing members in a deal that takes effect on July 1.

Commissioner Mike Aresco told The Associated Press the seven Catholic schools that are leaving to form a basketball-centric conference will get the Big East name, along with the opportunity to play their league tournament in Madison Square Garden.

The football members, most of which are newcomers to a conference that has been ravaged by realignment, get a cash haul of roughly $100 million. That group includes just one founding Big East member — Connecticut — and it must find a name for what is essentially a new league.

“It’s been an arduous four months but we got to the right place,” Aresco said in a phone interview. “I think both conferences have good futures.”

Aresco, who will remain commissioner of the football league, would not disclose the financial part of the settlement.

A person familiar with the negotiations told the AP earlier this week that the football schools will receive about $100 million from a $110 million stash the conference had built up over the last two and a half years through exit and entry fees as well as NCAA men’s basketball tournament funds.

Aresco said the football schools have not chosen a conference name, and there are no favorites yet.

“We can get on with reinventing ourselves and re-establishing our brand,” he said.