I remember (and not too fondly) all of the crap The Big East basketball schools gave the football schools over Notre Dame. They bent over backwards to please the mighty Fighting Irish. The "Catholic Coalition". All of the times we wanted the BE to give ND the ultimatum to get in or out were rebuffed without hesitation. The basketball schools saw no wisdom to it.
The BE gave a home to all of ND's olympic (non-revenue generating) sports, pooled our resources as a conference and split the dividends among the members. Nevermind that ND's operated at a loss. Nevermind the fact that ND football was a direct competitor to BE football and this aggreement gave them $9 mil of "cap relief" yearly. The basketball schools saw it as an equal partnership. The only problem was that it wasn't. It was a marriage of convienience. Sure, this agreement worked well for ND and the BE basketball only schools but, not so much for the football schools. What the basketball only school failed or refused to take notice of was, inspite of the appearance of things, the football schools held the conference together. As a matter of fact, so did the football schools.
So over the years, in 1s and 2s the football schools left Fending for themselves individually because they didn't value themselves properly collectively. The BE began to realize they needed the football schools to maintain the lofty standing they desired, but never enough to give the football schools what they needed to be competitive with other BCS conferences. Only enough to survive, probably betting they would not leave the mightiest baskestball conference this side of the NBA. They were wrong. Once again, schools began to leave. Even though the Big East reacted swiftly to rebuild itself, There was no way it could maintain the standard from an academic or athletic perception standpoint. The conference has taken in new members from coast to coast. Memphis, the worst FBS program in the country and Boise St, a former jr college highlight the newcomers. The Big East has morphed into Conferece USA, figuratively and litterally. There's no way The high and mighty Irish of Notre Dame would've ever accepted that. Exit Irish stage right.
And now it all has come into crystal clear focus. While the Big East's Catholic schools may have been committed to UND, UND's only committment is to the bottom line. It was always a marriage of convienience. Notre Dame's convienience. And after all of the disregard for our football programs that we had put up with in the Big East conference, I am so very pleased to see that our departures are what exposed the situation for what it is and caused the divorce. My only regret that the football schools didn't value themselves enough to leave collectively last summer. But that's another story.