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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Geno Auriemma gives his thoughts on latest Big East rumors

With word leaking out of the meeting of the Big East presidents that the conference plans to extend invitations for Houston, Central Florida and Southern Methodist to join in all sports while Boise State, Air Force and Navy could be added as football-only schools, UConn coach Geno Auriemma was asked for his opinion on the matter.

As is his custom, he did not hold back especially when the talk turned to West Virginia trying to bypass the 27-month waiting period to leave the Big East.

"I don't know what you can do about people leaving a conference or anything. You can make the exit fee $5 million, $10 million, $20 million, $30 million," Auriemma said. "If somebody doesn't want to be a part of something, they are not going to be a part of it. They are going to leave. You are kind of at their mercy. The only thing you can do is try to stay ahead of the game and position yourself so that you are acting proactively instead of reacting to what is going on. What are you supposed to do? Constantly be on the lookout to grab somebody? Is that going to be your whole focus of running your conference? You go to work every day and say 'How are our football programs? How are our basketball programs? What are we going to do when we have the men's tournament or the women's tournament? Are you going to try to get this school or that school? Who are we looking to steal right now.' I don't know if that is the way you are supposed to do things but certainly it has come to the point when nothing is safe anymore. There is nothing that is out of bounds.

"If that is the rule, 27 months or 50 million. What's the number? If you sign a contract and it says 27 months, it is 27 months. Those are decisions that are in a different office from where I live so I don't know what the answer is."

When Auriemma looked back at the Big East's history, he sounded like a proud family member.

"The Big East must be incredibly good if everybody is always trying to take our schools. We must have had an unbelievable conference so every other conference in the country is like 'we can't allow this to go on any longer. This has the chance to be the greatest basketball conference in history? Now under the auspices of football, let's break up this basketball league, let's destroy the Big East basketball league. If this kept going, this whole basketball thing, I don't think there's anybody in America who would ever have anything remotely close to what we had going "

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