NEW YORK CITY - After staring longingly at a picture of former Louisville Cardinals standout Darrell Griffith, a tearful Mike Aresco made one of the more odd announcements during his tenure as commissioner of the Big East Conference.
"I know some people might be upset at the news of Louisville leaving the conference," announced Aresco to several reporters, "but we're excited to announce that Lutheran State University of Greenswill, Pennsylvania has gladly accepted our offer to join our great collection of schools!"
The only problem regarding the announcement is that there is no Lutheran State University...nor is there a Greenswill, Pennsylvania.
When asked, Aresco started babbling; his voice getting more erratic after each sentence.
"You know, uh...Greenswill. Greenswill, Pennsylvania. The place where they invented white chocolate! You know...Greenswill! You know, the Famous Greenswill Wave? Heyyyyyyyyyy, I'm from Greenswill! It's...okay, it's a small town. You can't find it on a map, it's like 500 people. I don't even know if it's on Google. Heck, it might not even be on Google. It's small. They were DIII. Like, NAIA's version of DIII. Probationary member. They've got a great tradition, they um...they won some conference tournament...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!"
Aresco suddenly flipped over his desk and started yelling at reporters.
"Do you know what this is like?! Do you know?! 25 years ago, I was in the Garden when St. John's played Georgetown in the 1 vs. 2 game. I turned to my dad and said, 'you know what's great, Pops? This is never gonna die. Never!' And now look?! I just got a call that East F*&#'n Carolina University is joining the conference next year. Eastern F(*&'n Carolina! Five years ago we were looking at three different teams making the BCS, and now I'm trying to get TULANE because I want that boisterous New Orleans media market. I'm going to stab somebody!!!"
Since 2003, the Big East Conference has lost Boston College, Miami, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia, Notre Dame...and just this week, Rutgers and Louisville.
"I know you're just as stoked as anybody to watch Boise State and San Diego State knock heads in the Big East Conference Tournament in a couple years at MSG. I know I'm just peeing in my pants waiting for that game. What the f&*($ is going on? We just got Navy. Navy. The Midshipmen. Not the version with Roger Staubach. The crappy Navy version. Maybe I can pay one of their Middies to dump me off a ship."
The Big East has been forced to honor non-geographic teams like Houston, Southern Methodist, Central Florida, Memphis, Boise State, San Diego State, Tulane, ECU, and Navy. The additions have made the conference the laughing stock of collegiate sports.
Aresco has been left like an ex-boyfriend the night before prom.
"I tried calling Pitino...he doesn't answer. It's cool. We're still friends. Sometimes, at night, I put in the tape of that great Louisville/Rutgers game from a couple years back with Ray Rice...that was great. They'll come back. They have to...right?"
When asked how the Big East can stay successful, Aresco was adamant about the future of the conference.
"So, it's not what it used to be. We still have good basketball. You know," Aresco then took out his map. "Wait...why can't DePaul be the one who leaves?!"
As of late Thursday, it was also known that Cincinnati might be on their way out of the conference.
"I've made calls. We've been trying to set up meetings. They're like, 'Oh, I have to study for finals, I'm really busy.' Finals are in two weeks. I know what's going on. They're totally partying behind my back. Whatever."
After a long pause, it looks like Aresco starts to accept reality.
"Looks like it's just you and me, Tulane. Just you, me, Tulane...oh...and you too Lutheran State. I wonder if North Carolina Technical of St. Olaf has a conference?"
Aresco chuckles. He grabs his black and white picture of Darrell Griffith dunking, bows his head, and starts to cry.
It won't be ending soon.