Syracuse reacts to news of seven Catholic schools leaving Big East

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim became sentimental about the latest round of realignment news affecting the Big East following SU’s 85-61 win over Canisius on Saturday night.

Earlier in the day, the presidents of the seven, non-FBS schools—DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova—announced they were leaving the Big East to form a basketball-only conference. It dealt a body blow to the Big East, which has now seen 17 schools defect from the conference since 2004.

Syracuse was one of the founding members of the Big East in 1979, and Boeheim is the only original coach remaining. The Orange will be leaving for the ACC following the 2012-13 season.

» Related: Analysis of Catholic schools leaving Big East

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The Big East is in serious jeopardy now

“It’s pretty obvious and clear to me that there’s going to continue to be movement through time and the only way they can have a stable league is to create a basketball league,” Boeheim said. “To me I don’t know if that’s the right answer, I don’t know if that it will be successful, but it’s become pretty obvious to everyone that they could have a really good basketball league.”

The new league is expected to pick up a few other schools. The most logical choice would be schools from the Atlantic 10, including Butler, Dayton and Xavier. Earlier in the day, Butler upset No. 1 Indiana.

“Nobody thought the Big East would work in the first place, and obviously it worked,” Boeheim said. “If it wasn’t for the Big east, we’d still be playing in Manley Field house. None of this would have ever happened.”

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Syracuse forward James Southerland had similar sentiments.

“It’s kind of unfortunate that a big conference like this has suddenly just disappeared,” Southerland said. “Everyone’s going to do what’s best for them as a program, and it’s unfortunate that the east coast won’t see a great basketball conference play each other, especially at [Madison Square] Garden.”

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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