Geno Auriemma on schools leaving Big East: ‘I hope they all leave tomorrow’

UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma is a man who doesn’t hold his tongue. If he has an opinion on something, he lets it fly. So predictably when he was asked his opinion on the 7 Catholic schools fleeing the Big East, he once again didn’t hold his tongue. And those 7 schools were the targets of his criticisms.

I hope they all leave tomorrow,” Auriemma said. “But they can’t, because we have to play out the [2012-13] schedule.

“But as soon as it’s over, let them go and do what they need to do, just like Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia did. West Virginia did it the right way. They said they didn’t want to be in the Big East any more and said, ‘See you later, I’m out of here.’

“I hope they all take that approach.”

“Everyone has their own ideas and theories. Everyone wants to live in a nostalgic world where, as Garrison Keillor said, all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average.

“Everyone wants to live in the place where the nine original schools of the Big East are all together and will play against each other forever. Then football became the driving vehicle . You are either at the table with the big boys or you are not.

“The Catholic schools did a really good thing. They stayed at the table for as long as it took them to make as much money as they could. And once they saw all the money running out, they decided to go play somewhere else. Had some of them managed to vote appropriately over the last 10 years [as Big East conference members with a say on rights' fees], we wouldn’t be in the situation we are now.

“They did what was best for them, just like a lot of Catholic schools do. They like to say the state schools are the big bad guys. I’ve heard my share of that in my time in the conference [28 years].”

Auriemma is smart man, so he knows that if UConn was given to chance to bolt, they would’ve too. But since they weren’t given that chance, all he can do is take pot shots at the other schools that have left for greener pastures.

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