PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Everybody ready to sit beside the campfire and sing kumbaya?
The message out of the Big East spring meetings Monday was one of love and devotion to each other. There was no other message to send, really, not after the tumult of the last year in the league. The common idea, as Notre Dame men's basketball coach Mike Brey told reporters, "How do we make this work?"
On the football side of the equation, there have been many who have wondered about whether Boise State and San Diego State would actually play in the league in 2013. Athletic directors at both schools are at the spring meetings, and both said there has been no second guessing the decision.
Boise State athletic director Mark Coyle said, "Nothing’s changed. We’re here at the conference meetings. It’s great to learn a great deal about the conference and the direction and all that."
As a follow-up, I asked why the Big East is the best home for the football program. "When that decision was made five months ago, it gives our program an opportunity on a national level with our institution and what we’re trying to do. We feel comfortable with that."
Boise State is looking for the best place for its other sports, especially with the WAC appearing to be on life support. Coyle said discussions are ongoing with the WAC and other conferences for the best place. San Diego State is assisting in those efforts.
And for those of you who wonder why Boise State and San Diego State would hold firm to their commitment, San Diego State athletic director Jim Sterk laid out the financial benefits for the Aztecs. As part of the Mountain West, its share of revenue from its current TV deal is $1.2 million. That is expected to be double digits whenever the new TV contract is negotiated.
"Football is and can be a national conference," Sterk said. "Yeah, you want to minimize the travel you can. Once you get on a charter, you’re going somewhere whether it’s a half hour further or an hour further doesn’t make much difference. From a revenue standpoint, the Big East is the last major conference with their rights up right now. That lends itself to having a competitive market place. Conservative estimates ... the Mountain West Conference is locked up three more years with a four-year rollover. The Big East is open right now. That’s an advantage for us."