Geno On Catholic School Exodus: “I Hope They All Leave Tomorrow”

by Categorized: ACC, Big East women's basketball, Geno Auriemma, UConn women's basketball Date:

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].”



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42 thoughts on “Geno On Catholic School Exodus: “I Hope They All Leave Tomorrow”

  1. Village Idiot

    So Anti-Catholic comments from a good Philly Italian Catholic Boy, what would his mother say? Some truth to what he said. But Catholic, Hebrew, Muslim or non sectarian schools are in leagues for MONEY. That’s the blood that makes EVERY organization run. Geno makes Millions–can we now say he’s in it for money?? Sure money is part of it but he loves the adulation, the “being in charge”, the molding of young women, the mentoring, the coaching. Part of all the above is true of all those Catholic schools too.
    In this day of the tight dollar from all sources. ALL schools have to do what is BEST for THEM, including UConn.
    Football (for the catholic schools) is a huge expense they don’t want to pay, for a small if any return on their dollars.
    Thanks Geno for the 80,000 donation to OUR Childrens Funds.

  2. Peter

    I think it is fitting what Geno said. The best payback is to clobber these schools in basketball on their way out. Not one of these schools has 3 national titles in men’s BB and seven national titles in woman’s BB. Can you say spoil sports. That essentially is what it is. Why should they stay in the conference and have there assess handed to them by UConn and Cincy. They would rather get more money so the losing goes down easier. I highly doubt they they will get a better TV contract and if that is true, who is the loser then. What goes around comes around and in 3 years we will see who faired better!

    1. Yonick Bush

      Didn’t BC clobber Geno on their way out of the Big East? Better be careful what we wish for.

    2. mickyeggs

      if geno is not in it for the money, than why did UCONN women’s BB switch to SNY and drop Public TV like a bad habit?? PBS gave the Lady Huskies a place to show their talent to a State that barely knew they existed before PBS gave them a home

  3. P Doyle

    What a shame that Gino singled out Catholic Schools. He should set the example by respecting that they did what they did for whatever reason. Suck it up and quit whining.

    1. Fishpaw31

      There is no one in this story named “Gino” however there is someone named Geno. Proofread, fact-check your statements if you want your opinions to be taken seriously.


        If Proofreading and accuracy were demanded to offer an OPINION in this blog, not even John could participate. This is simply a venue to offer what one thinks. Gino and Geno are neither his legal name but in many case are used interchangeably by many. Proof readers are no longer used by 99 percent of the written media corporations. Check YOUR facts.

  4. Dave

    The real truth besides the money is catholic schools are not relevent in basketball like in the 1980’s. Go play in your little CYO league. A catholic school will never win the NCAA title again. Pssssst I’ll let you in a little secret they won’t get a big TV contract,but they will look like winners in their conference. And they will feel like winners when they are not playing against state and football schools. Georgetown DC is the only one that makes a little noise. The trade off less TV money and no real say in NCAA matters.

    1. Sister Mary Beth

      Those of us who are of that particular faith still have a strong feeling watching OUR Catholic Colleges and University. But Basketball nor football is the reason for their existence. They are primarily educational institutions. FYI my introduction to Basketball was in Grammar school and we, like many catholic schools, had a winning record most years.

    2. mickyeggs

      with the money hungry Big East adding teams every year , they shot themselves in the foot by ruining many conference rivalries. now i think Utah and San Diego are joining the big east? how far west must a school be to be not an eastern school? all this relates to football where the schools make their big money! what chance would a school like De Paul have if they had to play Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pitt And the exiting West Virginia football teams? it’s these schools with highly rated football programs that are the cause of the demise of the Big East

  5. Sam


    Just a small point. Notre Dame is a Catholic school, somewhat beyond a CYO league school wouldn’t you say.

    1. Pam

      Notre Dame is already out of the Big East and heading to the ACC in all sports but football. Here’s your hat……..what’s your hurry! Don’t let the door hit you on your way out!

  6. johnnyc

    Pssssst…Dave….let you in on a little secret……they already know they have a TV contract. They wouldn’t have made a move without one.

  7. Dave

    Sorry Johnnye, I don’t think so. They have a lot of work ahead of them. Goodnight John Boy!

  8. Dave

    Sam, Notre Dame will never win a NCAA basketball championship. Plus they are not going with the catholic schools. Irish going to the ACC. The Irish follow the money. Get your leagues straight Samuel. Am I picking on your Irish sorry.

    1. Sister Mary Beth

      Yonkish—I honestly believe the murders in Sandy Hook have cast a cloud over all of us and Geno is lashing out because of it. He is an emotional and caring man. He’s really angry because he can’t fix it. I think a lot of us feel his pain.\ The schools of his faith are an easy and visible target for him. Be compassionate, we’ve got to give everyone a break –it’s in our heads and we can’t shake it.

  9. hjoerring

    We are all angry and for good reasons. I hope the state and teams can pick themselves up, once again. Have we now slammed the door shut for joining the Catholic schools in olyp. sports? Will they/we ever play us/them again after these comments (Have we ever play against BC after the exit turmoil). And have we reopened wounds that were healed? Geno has slammed all the people/schools who will have to open the door for us, if we are still thinking about the ACC. Perhaps he knows that the ACC door is already close. In any regard, it is as messy as when BC existed- bad blood. To be truthful, I don’t think that his comments are fair. All they have done today is beat us to the exit door, leaving us behind to clean-up. But somebody has to do it- clean-up.

  10. Eileen

    So why are we so upset that all the Catholic schools are leaving the Big East? UCONN recently couldn’t wait to get out too and perhaps the Catholic schools saw the handwriting on the wall–get out while you can, JUST as UCONN wanted to do. Also, if you look at some of the words that Geno said about this defection, they have been twisted, both on this blog and in the Courant where the caption to get my attention to read the article said something different than what Geno said in the article. Come on John, what did he really say–exact words!!

  11. Molly McGuire

    No offense to the Catholic Schools. They need money to operate too. I am glad they exist because they offer faith based education that is sorely needed in this country. Just take one look at the tragedy your state just experienced. Those C7 schools are not calling their Christmas Break a “Winter Break”, like your public schools do. (Get my point?) It is probably for the best that the C7 basketball schools are leaving. There is really no common ground in athletic philosephy with the larger football playing State Universities when it comes to their athletic departments. College Football is now the number one viewed, fan followed sport in America today. It is expensive to start and maintain. You can get 5-10k people to a gym to watch basketball game in the winter, especially if the teams are like kind rivals. It is a whole animal of a different color to build, maintain, and fill a modern on campus football stadium with upwards of 50k screaming fans for every game. College Football is so much more exciting over a season than basketball anyway. UConn may feel left behind because they were not invited to the ACC but when the day comes you bring your football program to ECU you will see a Big Time Football atmosphere you rarely saw playing most BE teams outside WVU. ECU has a home attendance average larger than 7 of the ACC schools and all but one of the BE programs in football. You will also see large energetic crowds with Basketball despite our lackluster won/lost history. (Do you you even play collegiate baseball at UConn?) We are, as you know in the state of N.C. And are the 2nd largest university in this state. The other incoming (former CUSA) larger programs such as UCF, SMU, ECU, and UH are in no way a drop off in athletics or academics to what has been in the BE. So, please do not lament the loss of the C7, let alone SU, Pitt, ULL, or WVU. You will not miss them moving forward.

  12. Molly McGuire

    By the way ECU has played WVU, Pitt, SU, and UL in the past over the years and has defeated every one of those football programs on the field more than once. Just saying, no drop off!

  13. Molly McGuire

    John, UConn in football here is not really viewed as all that exciting of an opponent for us at ECU, when we have been on the field vs. several SEC, Big 10, Big 12, BE, and ACC programs in our history. But you blind Yankees really are not all that knowledgeable when it comes to college football in the south in the first place. You were playing Div 1-AA when we were traveling to the Peach, Liberty, and Independence in the 80’s and 90’s. By the way, UConn should have been down right embarrassed with the laughable fan showing in your undeserving BCS appearance a year or two ago. Football drives the bus! Not basketball. That what this whole realignment has been about. Not basketball.

  14. Molly McGuire

    For what it is worth, which current, past, or incoming future football program has ever defeated Boise State?

    Answer: ECU in the 2007 Hawaii Bowl!

  15. Molly McGuire

    In other word’s, ECU has always been bigger, better, and generates far greater fan interest than programs like UCONN have historically despite having been kept out of the BCS AQ group in football. If a program cannot generate in the stadium attendance, is it realistic to think the casual sports fan will be interested in watching on TV? Answer: NO!

  16. Molly McGuire

    UCF fans, please weigh in on this. You are great at commenting on such issues.

  17. HGN

    Geno is absolutely correct……..All the Big East had to do was stick together. Vote together. And be together, and the league would have survived and thrived. But they had early defectors in Syracuse , Pittsburgh and West Virginia , etc….If Notre Dame had voted to stay in the BE , including its football team , the BE would have won out and been a viable football conference. ND would have dominated no doubt , but the league would have survived.

  18. Dave

    Molly a lot of what you are saying is true and makes sense. But if you are a directional school eastern, western, southern or northern nobody cares or takes you seriously. It’s not fair but true.

  19. Dave

    HGH the Big East schools that left or are leaving caused this by their greed. Show the cheese the rat enters the trap SNAP! If they stuck together and accepted that 1.6 billion contract we would not be talking now. Georgetown president led the opposition to say no and hang in for a better contract. Great move I hope someone else will be making the money decisions for their new conference. You don’t want to go in a fox hole with that guy. In a nutshell if all the Big East schools hung tough they would be in a great situation right now. Much better than the ACC. The ACC had to steal Syracuse and Pitt to help strength a weaker by the year basketball conference. Also the football product was slipping each year. Greed American’s undoing.

  20. Dave

    When the college presidents got involved all hell broke loose. Sanity, loyalty, deceit and lying all came to the forefront. Most of these men or women are bean heads just show me the $. But they can tell the students all about what is rightous and honest. Let’s not get into the NCAA and what they stand for and their platform. Sad, sick and disingenuous.

  21. Hip Hop Hood

    Who cares what Gina think? She coaches WOMEN’S basketball!! That’s not a real sport.

  22. Eileen

    Hip Hop Hood – Idiot, Geno is a he and he is the greatest women’s bb coach alive!! I am sick of football, football, football, the root of all the evil and changing conferences because of it. I use to love football until I felt it became too violent for me–look what happened in the pros in Louisianna–price on people’s head. Come on. I will take bb over and over again. The Big East men’s and women’s bb was a powerhouse league which has been turned into nothing by the greed of football and BCS.

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