In his most recent column about the troubles facing whomever the new Big East commissioner ends up being, ESPN's Andy Katz dropped the following notable nugget.
There remains a desire among some member schools to leave. Multiple sources with direct knowledge of their situations told ESPN.com that Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich told the Big East board of directors that the Cardinals want to be in the Big 12 or the ACC, opting for transparency by making members aware of his school's true intentions.
No invitation has arrived as of yet and the only likely one would be from the Big 12 if new commissioner Bob Bowlsby sees the need to recommend to his board that an expansion to 12 teams is in the league's interest. Last year, Louisville made a strong push to get into the Big 12 over West Virginia but was rebuffed in the 11th hour.
The fact that Louisville would prefer to get out of the Big East isn't exactly news. The play they made last fall to try and woo the Big 12 spoke pretty loudly. Tom Jurich being completely up front about that desire, however, is news.
For months, Jurich has made statements along the lines of "we're in the Big East and will do whatever we can to strengthen the Big East going forward, but of course we're still going to keep all of our options open." This was essentially a lengthy euphemism for, "if someone asks, we're bouncing."
Now, with U of L ally John Marinatto having been forced out, there's no reason for Louisville to be polite.
Believe it or don't believe, but the understanding right now (of both parties concerned) is that Louisville will become a member of the Big 12, preferably before the start of the 2013-14 season. We've seen things change a thousand and one times in this realignment madness over the past nine months or so, but as of this moment, I am beyond certain that this is the plan.
With all of the shady moves and dealings behind closed doors, I love hearing Jurich being so open and honest. It would be great to see Louisville make a move to the Big 12, but it would even better to see them do so with the class and respect that was so absent in the moves Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia made.