The Catholic schools have an opportunity as of today. They can put a merciful end to the league they created and start fresh. The Big East name, a name that long stood for excellence in college hoops, NBA style play in NBA arenas, the greatest post season tournament event of any league, coaching legends and historic NCAA runs, is being turned into a mockery. It's greatest product - basketball - is being watered down to an unrecongnizable disaster. The members that the Catholics wanted to remain associated with are all but gone. The basketball schools must now do the merciful thing and take the league off life support. Retire the Big East to its place in history and start anew. Form a new league. St. John's, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, DePaul, Providence, Seton Hall, Xavier, Dayton, St. Louis. Want to go bigger? Not necessary but you can add Gonzaga, St. Mary's, Creighton and one or two more western schools. Tell Cincy, UConn and USF they are welcome to join in all sports but there will be no football. No reason to leave those schools totally out in the cold (even though they are more than willing to do it to us). Worried about TV contracts? Forget it. The current Big East is not going to get a TV contract that benefits the basketball schools in any significant way than they would do on their own. They will get on TV with this league. The programs are too good and in too many large TV markets. The basketball quality will be on par with the BCS leagues and will be able to put half its membership in the NCAA tourny regularly. The league can assume the MSG agreement for its tourny. To say the hoops schools are better off in a league with Tulane and SMU and UCF is just ridiculous at this point. Once July rolls in, the founders of this league will be at the mercy once again of schools such as Temple, Memphis, and Houston. If Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame had no regard for the league and its traditions, certainly the newcomers will not. Essentially, the Big East basketball schools are about to join Conference-USA, unless we do something about it.