(LOUISVILLE, KY.) With the reported departures of seven schools from the Big East, University of Louisville Head Coach, Rick Pitino says he's fed up with the constant, conference realignment.
Speaking at his regularly scheduled pre game press conference before his team leaves for Memphis, the New York native said it's hard for him to see what's happening to the conference he grew up admiring. The seven non-football bowl subdivision schools in the Big East are reportedly leaving the league, and Pitino says he doesn't blame them. "Two months ago I was in a conversation with John Thompson (Georgetown) and Jay Wright (Villanova), I said, 'I'm going to tell you what's going to happen. You guys are going to break away, and get fed up with all of this'. They looked at me, and I said 'it should've happened a long time ago'. For those of us in basketball, I think we're all fed up", said Pitino.
It's not just the apparent fall of the Big East that has gotten under Pitino's skin. He feels that all of this movement is money driven, and that doesn't sit well with the 28 year head coach. "football generates a lot of money. That's why everybody is leaving. The Big Ten right now and the Big Twelve have the most money, so people are looking at the money. They're willing to sacrifice years of tradition for money and I don't understand it," a noticeably irritated Pitino said. He even went on to call these mega conferences monopolies, "If this was a government issued thing, they would break up these monopolies. It's not something I enjoy looking at. The Big East, to me, was very very special. I know it is for Jim (Boeheim, Syracuse), John Thompson III (Georgetown), Jay Wright (Villanova) we all grew up on the Big East. We all love the Big East. Although we're very pleased to be a part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, what's happening, I think, is extremely disturbing".
The University of Louisville is leaving the Big East to join the ACC, but it's not clear when. Ideally, the school would like to stay in the Big East one more year so they can prepare for the jump, but it's not out of the question that they could start competing in the ACC as soon as next season. Those details will most likely be decided once the non-football bowl subdivision schools make it official that they are leaving the conference.
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