Geno Auriemma was in no mood Tuesday to wish the Catholic schools bolting the Big East good luck and safe trip. And he did not hold back offering his thoughts about what this all means for his school, now and in the future.
“I hope they all leave tomorrow.,” Auriemma said of the Catholic schools. “But they can’t because we have to play out the schedule. But as soon as its over, let them go and do what they need to do, just like Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia did. West Virginia did it the right way. They said they didn’t want to be in the Big East anymore and said ‘see you later, I’m out of here.’
“I hope they all take that approach.”
Auriemma said he thinks the Catholic schools stayed in the conference only until they felt there was no more money in it for them.
“Everyone has their own ideas and theories. Everyone wants to live in a nostalgic world where, as Garrison Keillor said, all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average.
“Everyone wants to live in the place where the nine original schools of the Big East are all together and will play against each other forever. Then football became the driving vehicle. You are either at the table with the big boys or you are not.
“The Catholic schools did a really good thing. They stayed at the table for as long as it took them to make as much money as they could. And once they saw all the money running out, they decided to go play somewhere else. Had some of them managed to vote appropriately over the last 10 years [as Big East conference members] we wouldn’t be in the situation we are now.
“They did what was best for them, just like a lot of catholic schools do. They like to say the state schools are the big bad guys. I’ve heard my share of that in my time in the conference [28 years].”