It all began 10 years ago, when the Big East was plundered by the ACC in a desperate — and futile — attempt to improve its football profile. Commissioner John Swofford and the ACC presidents initially lured Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College. When that didn’t work, the ACC went back for more: Syracuse and Pittsburgh first, then Notre Dame (sort of) and Louisville.
The ACC still isn’t any good in football.
And now, seven soon-to-be former Big East schools are about to do the same to the Atlantic 10 — and perhaps others.
According to several people with knowledge of the situation, the group that has come to be known as college basketball’s “Catholic 7” will eventually grow to 12 — perhaps not all of them Catholic — when they formally begin play as a conference.
The man who has been charged with piecing together the new league is Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, a job handed to him, according to those who know, in large part because of a lack of interest on the part of the presidents of St. John’s, Villanova, Seton Hall, DePaul, Marquette and Providence.