Before the Red Storm's matchup Saturday against St. Francis at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, AD Chris Monasch talked to reporters briefly about the seven Catholic schools currently in the Big East splitting away from the league. Here is what he had to say.
On investing more in men’s basketball…
Several weeks ago, the university came to the decision to
invest more heavily in its men’s basketball program, and if the need arose they
were willing to do that.
On the form of those investments…
We looked at our program across the board, and made
commitments to our facilities, staff, head coach and his staff. We looked at
all the budgets from a travel perspective and a recruiting perspective. We put
the support in place we think we need to compete in an elite conference. I
think moving forward, our philosophy is that we are going to do what we have to
do to continue to compete at this level, and even higher if we have to.
If travel concerns in the non-revenue sports would
disqualify Gonzaga or St. Mary’s from new league…
We haven’t had any discussions with that kind of detail,
either internally or with the larger group.
On looking at possible new TV deal…
Just understanding what the current terrain is about, and
the value of the seven schools, the markets they’re in and the success that
we’ve had. Data that’s public that’s public that we can review, and where the
TV market is going that can be competitive with new entities. We confident that
we can have a competitive package.
On where the new league office could be…
On if new conference will be competitive in other sports…
I think the tone of the conversation among the seven schools
is that we want to be committed to a high level men’s and women’s basketball
conference, and a broad based conference across the board. That’s always been
an emphasis at St. Johns, to compete at the highest level that we can in the
sports that we sponsor.
On why basketball is important at St. John’s…
It’s the tradition of the school, in men’s and women’s
basketball. It’s the two programs that have the greatest interest from the
On what basketball does for the school…
It gives us visibility. It gives us access to media as a
platform to do what we do, which is to educate young men and women consistent
with our mission. It’s a great platform to expose that to the world.
If the separation from football schools will jeopardize
postseason tournament at Madision Square Garden…
On working with football schools…
The goal is to work with football schools to do what is
collectively best for all parties. I think the feeling is that if we work
collegiately together, all parties can get as much as feasibly possible out of
the next few weeks and months.
On if the seven schools have talked to football schools
The league is handling the conversations among the parties.
On why they made decision…
The decision to do this really looks to the future. St.
Johns is in the best position long term, it creates a stable situation in an
elite league with people of a common philosophy.
On if seven and football schools can work together…
I do think we can, because we’ve worked well in recent
On confidence that St. John’s can be successful in new
Pretty confident. I feel very confident in that. We have
everything in place, the tradition, history, commitment, location and leadership
from our president, board and coaching staff to be successful.