Tulane president, Big East commish trade emails about long-term vision

Earlier today, I reported on Big East-Catholic 7 breakup details gathered from public records requests of emails to and from USF President Judy Genshaft, a Big East chair.

Those emails also included an interesting exchange between Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco and Tulane President Scott Cowen, whose Green Wave agreed to join the Big East in November.

Cowen emailed Genshaft and Aresco on Dec. 30 and asked that Genshaft might consider adding the "New" Big East's core values -- "who we are" as a conference -- on the agenda for a Jan. 11 meeting of Big East presidents and athletic directors in Dallas. 

Without a clear vision, Cowen wrote, he worried about the long-term implications.

"Currently, we are a collection of schools brought together under different circumstances and context," Cowen wrote. "From my perspective, we need to develop a vision, core values, and expectations of one another that begins to shape our purpose and culture. If we don’t do this at some time, I fear we will not likely become a coherent, strong conference with a long-term future."

This email was written a day before Boise State left the conference, joining a host of departures from the embattled league through recent waves of conference realignment.

Before midnight, Aresco responded with an explanation of the league's core values.

"Could not agree more that we need to do this," Aresco wrote. "Actually, the vision we presented at our league meting in November [just before Rutgers and Louisville left] is still valid. We are a challenger brand, we want to be the conference that challenges the so-called big five, we want to give our student-atheltes the opportunity to compete at the highest level, we are diverse and scrappy, we are a lot like NYC, we offer opportunity and we make our diversity work.

"Of course, there are core values we need to articulate, and our expectations, as you point out, which we will think about ahead of our Dallas meeting.”

Cowen replied to thank Aresco, saying "In the end we want a coherent conference reflective of the future (not the past) and based on other factors in addition to athletic competition.

Of course, on the agenda sheet for the Jan. 11 meeting, the first item was titled, "Who we are as a conference."

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