The Big East has had a rough week, with Jim Calhoun departing the conference on Thursday and Notre Dame announcing their intentions to move to the ACC on Wednesday. Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco issued a statement on the news of the Irish deciding to leave his conference:
"The University of the Notre Dame has informed us that it is joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports other than football. Notre Dame has been a valued member of the BIG EAST Conference and we wish them success in the future. However, Notre Dame's departure does not change our plans. We have prestigious institutions that are excited to be a part of the BIG EAST. We remain committed to making the BIG EAST stronger than it has ever been."
The most recent reports indicated that Aresco and the Big East intended to hold the Irish to the 27-months notice stipulation before leaving, and force them to pay a $5 million exit fee. That fee is smaller than football members Pitt, Syracuse, and West Virginia had to pay when negotiating their exits. As much as Aresco tries to spin it in his statement, the loss is another big blow for a conference that spans the continental United States and is struggling to find an identity.