In a recent Boston Globe article, BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo (who held the same position at Villanova from 1993-1997) basically admitted that ESPN was a co-conspirator with the ACC in the raiding of the Big East this time around.
Now I'm not a lawyer, but if this isn't illegal, it's highly unethical. If the Big East is gone, there is no way that another major media corporation can outbid ESPN for a TV contract, and ESPN can essentially dictate the destinations of the orphan schools after everything blows up. That's wrong.“We always keep our television partners close to us. You don’t get extra money for basketball. It’s 85 percent football money. TV - ESPN - is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball.’’
The Big East needs to issue an ultimatum to ESPN: rectify the situation with a sweetheart television deal, or we're suing you for a billion dollars.
Expect a retraction from ESPN's massive PR wing within a few days explaining how they had nothing to do with this and how they "value their partnership with the Big East".