After this weekend, Creighton could have some answers to the multitude of questions facing its new conference.
Creighton Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen said A.D.s from the 10 schools of the new Big East will meet Friday, Saturday and possibly Sunday in Atlanta in conjunction with the Final Four.
Basketball coaches from the schools also plan to meet.
“There is a lot we need to talk about,” Rasmussen said, “and we're going to try to plow through some of that while people are there.”
The seven Catholic universities that are leaving the old Big East announced March 20 that they were adding Creighton of the Missouri Valley and Butler and Xavier of the Atlantic 10 to form the new 10-team Big East. The meetings in Atlanta will be the first face-to-face gatherings for the athletic directors and coaches, although there have been conference calls in most of the sports.
The league has yet to hire a commissioner or draft bylaws.
Using men's basketball as an example, Rasmussen ticked off a laundry list of questions — everything from scheduling to the hiring of a coordinator to oversee the hiring of officials.
“We also need to talk about branding the league, logos for the league, our website, media rights,” Rasmussen said. “You can go through the list of things facing men's basketball, and then we're going to have to do the same thing for all the sports.”
A pressing issue is compiling schedules for the fall sports that begin in late August.
Rasmussen said he also expects to hear from officials from Fox, which will showcase the new conference on its new all-sports network that launches in August.
Fox has first-tier rights to all of the athletic competitions within the conference, but also has the ability to sell those rights to other broadcasting entities.
“It's kind of like in the Valley — ESPN owns our TV rights, but it chooses to sell the championship game of our tournament to CBS,” Rasmussen said. “I would be shocked if you don't see Big East games on ESPN and some of the other cable entities.
“You can also go down to local television just like in the Valley. We have to go through all of that. It's nothing that will be decided at the Final Four, but we have to start plowing through all of that.”
Rasmussen said he also expects the men's basketball schedule to stretch over the course of the week instead of having set days of competition. In the Valley, schools generally played league games on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with some contests held on Tuesdays and Sundays to accommodate television.
“I think we're going to see it across the board in the new league,” Rasmussen said. “You can't have the number of exposures that Fox needs to have and just play a couple times a week. I think you'll see games pretty much every day of the week.
“There are a lot of things we just don't how it will happen yet, but Fox is paying a lot of money for our rights. We'll try to make them happy.”
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