There was a lot of bad news yesterday, what with the conference going down in flames and all, but near the end of the day UConn fans got some news that could almost be qualified as good, at least if you squinted at it and held hope in your heart:
Big East hoops schools can't dissolve league, sources told @espn. Can leave as group w/out paying exit fees, but must wait 27 months— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 14, 2012
Apparently to dissolve the league the Catholics are going to need at least two football votes, and you can beat that Cincinnati, South Florida and UConn don't feel like helping them out right now.
So why is this good for UConn? Well, for starters, it's going to make sure they have a home next year. Maryland will still be in the ACC which means that Louisville and Rutgers will have to stay put and everyone can have one last battle for the Big East's BCS bid. Not for nothing but it also means that this March's Big East Tournament won't be the last, so assuming all goes according to plan we'll see Kevin Ollie leading his charges there in 2014 (although Syracuse and Pittsburgh won't be in attendance).
The basketball schools aren't necessarily locked in for 27 months -- a lot of lawyers are going to make a lot of money trying to figure out a way for them to leave earlier -- but it does mean they'll have to negotiate their way out and pay some sort of buyout, which they might be disinclined to do considering their lower revenues.
Will any of this stop them from leaving or the conference breaking up? No, of course not. But the fact that they can't dissolve the conference immediately buys UConn one thing that it desperately needs: time. The Huskies could then use that time to figure out what's next, which could mean forming a national league (or at least threatening to), or maybe getting lucky and having someone bolt from the ACC clearing the way for a much-coveted invitation to everyone's favorite party.
There was a lot of bad news yesterday, but knowing that UConn appears to at least have a minute to catch its breath (for now) is easily the least bad piece the school got.