Big East issues statement on Villanova, football expansion

If you haven't been following this situation closely (my hand is raised), Nunes has a quick, easy, and hilarious summary of all you need to know. Basically, 'Nova was under the impression that they were in if they said "yes," which they were prepared to do. Then the Big East steps in and says, "it's cool if you want to join, but we're not ready to back the move 100% because your stadium is so small."

With the situation in flux, Big East commish John Marinatto issued a statement this afternoon.

"The Big East Conference and Villanova University have worked closely with each other over the past several months regarding potential football membership," Marinatto said in the statement. "We will continue with our due diligence process and work with Villanova to continue to share relevant information and materials. The Big East Conference obviously very much values its long-standing relationship with Villanova and we are committed to continuing to work with them on this matter in an open and forthright manner. Until there is additional information to report, the conference plans no further comment."

Not surprisingly, the 'Nova folks aren't exactly thrilled.

Make no mistake - this should scare everyone.

This is a backstabbing from the Big East in every sense of the word. It appears Villanova was lied to from the outset. We were told that all we had to do was say 'yes.' That wasn't the case - apparently it was 'say yes' and then we'll let you know.

And let's remember that we voted yes to inviting TCU in to all sports. They're crap in basketball with no signs of improvement. So if we don't join for football, how do they help us? Not at all is the answer. So we're a team player, and now the same schools we decided to help out are jamming a sharp object into us.

This spells trouble not only for Villanova, but for all the basketball-only schools. Be afraid, be very afraid if this thing doesn't work out for Villanova.

Dick Weiss then adds that this could be the beginning of the oft-discussed potential league split.

It could also signal the first shot on Ft. Sumpter, whereby the football schools are setting the wheels in motion to drop out and form their own league in 2013, when the league's TV contract runs out.

If that is the case, the remaining non-football schools like St. John's, Villanova, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette and DePaul as well as Notre Dame, which is a high powered independent in football, would be left to scramble and form their own league, turning to Midwest schools like Xavier, Dayton and Butler to flesh out a new league.

My gut still says Villanova is a football-playing member of the Big East before the end of the week.

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