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Saving Big East Basketball

Discussion in 'Basketball' started by Q Exp, Dec 9, 2012.

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  1. Q Exp

    Q Exp Member

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    I love Big East Basketball. It has arguably been the premier college basketball conference for many years. As of the date of this post, only 1 of its 15 current basketball members (South Florida) have never reached the NCAA Basketball Men's Final Four. No other Division I conference can boast a higher percentage of teams that have reached the Basketball's Final Four. Rivalries such as Georgetown-Syracuse, Syracuse-UConn, and Villanova-Georgetown have made the Big East a truly special conference.

    Unfortunately for the Big East, College Football not College Basketball is what dictates college sports at the Division I level. It's College Football that can bring the most revenue to schools. In order to increase revenue, many of the Big East Traditional basketball powers are leaving the Big East. Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Louisville are heading to the ACC. West Virginia has already left the Big East for the Big 12. A couple of more schools (Connecticut and Cincinnati) will leave if the "right" football conference includes them in their expansion plans. Heck, even Rutgers, though not a traditional basketball power, is heading to the Big 10. In order to maintain a football conference, the Big East will replace (or at least are scheduled to replace) the departing schools with Temple, Memphis, Central Florida, Houston SMU and Tulane in all sports and East Carolina, Navy, Boise State and San Diego State in football. Furthermore, with the Big East losing its automatic qualifying BCS bid in football, it's not entirely certain that Navy, Boise State and San Diego State will join the Big East. The Big East that many of us knew is gone, replaced by Conference USA-Big East "Frankenconference". Tulane vs. Villanova and Providence vs. Houston will now be considered Big East battles. DePaul-SMU will be a possible Big East tournament match-up at Madison Square Garden.

    There is a way to salvage the Big East as a strong basketball conference. However to achieve this goal, it will have to go to its roots. It has to once again become a conference of primarily basketball-centric private institutions, with a strong eastern presence. How?

    1) The basketball-centric schools should divorce itself from the football-playing schools and form it's own conference. Hopefully it can carry the Big East moniker. The schools involved in this exodus would be the following: Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova, Georgetown, Marquette and DePaul.

    2) This new conference should immediately expand including a number of solid Atlantic 10 basketball programs that are generally private institutions in medium to large markets. The following schools that the new conference should include are the following: St. Joseph's, VCU (which just joined the A-10), Xavier, Dayton, Butler (which also just joined the A-10), St. Bonaventure and Duquesne. Some may be scratching their heads at the last two schools mentioned. We'll discuss this later.

    3) Set up a two division format with "East" and "West" divisions. The divisions would be as follows...
    East
    Providence
    St. John's
    Seton Hall
    St. Joseph's
    Villanova
    Georgetown
    VCU

    West
    Marquette
    DePaul
    Butler
    Xavier
    Dayton
    Duquesne
    St. Bonaventure

    4. Each team would play a 20 game in-conference schedule. Teams in the same division would play each other twice (home and away) and would play teams in the other division once, except for one team in the other division, where they would play each other twice. They would be a "married-pair".

    5. There would be conference tournament at the end of the year in Madison Square Garden involving 12 of the 14 teams. The worst team in each division would not be invited to the tournament.

    As it is currently set up, the Big East has teams in the following markets: Providence, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, Milwaukee and Tampa Bay. Under this expansion plan, you would lose only Tampa Bay and Central NY. It would be replaced by Indianapolis (Butler) and Western NY (St. Bonaventure).

    WhyDuquesneandSt. Bonaventure?
    Duquesne is in Pittsburgh so the conference would maintain a presence in that sizeable market. Duquesne is not Pitt in terms of tradition, but is a private school fielding a basketball team in a medium-sized market. It has a basketball rivalry with Pitt and is a player in Pittsburgh's college basketball landscape. It has little aspiration of fielding a FBS football team so it fits the profile of a basketball-centric school.


    St. Bonaventure is located in Western New York. Western NY is a larger market than Central NY. It's traditionally centered around Buffalo though Rochester is another major city in the region. Bona is part of the Big 4, which is Western NY's version of Philadelphia's Big 5. While St. Bonaventure is no Syracuse in terms of tradition, it would help the conference maintain a presence in upstate NY. Like Duquesne, Bona is a private school that is a player on the college basketball landscape in a medium-sized market. It also has little aspirations of fielding a FBS football team.

    Finally adding these two schools would enable teams near the east coast to stay in the same division. A number of old Big East rivalries would continue to be played home-and-away.

    Conclusion
    In short, this would be the Big East 3.0. Big East 1.0 was the original conference centered solely on basketball. Big East 2.0 was the basketball conference that was attempting to become a major football conference. This version of the Big East would be a basketball-centric conference in Eastern and Midwestern markets. It would feature a number of private institutions in major markets that would be basketball-centric. The geographic footprint would be more manageable and compact. A number of traditional rivalries would be played more frequently. With St. Joe's in the conference, new rivalries may commence with a number of the original Big East schools. VCU which is only 100 miles south of DC may become a new rival of Georgetown. Games between Xavier, Dayton, Marquette, Butler and perhaps DePaul may become particularly intriguing battles.
     


  2. FlipsLikeAPancake

    FlipsLikeAPancake Member+

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    As of today, ESPN is reporting it would be an "upset" if the Catholic basketball schools didn't split.

    Upon splitting, seems like the Catholic basketball schools have a few options:

    1. Join the A-10.
    The A-10 has said they'd be interested in inviting all 7 Big East basketball only schools to join. But I think that conference would be way too large.

    2. Raid the A-10.
    I think this is probably the most likely. I think Xavier and Dayton are the biggest no-brainer choices, as it fills a geographic gap between DePaul/Marquette and the rest, and both a good Catholic basketball schools.

    Other Catholic schools they could raid include St. Bonaventure and Duquesne, as you point out, thought I think they might look toward St. Louis and possible Creighton from the Missouri Valley Conference. Whether they'd be interested in non-Catholic schools like VCU and Butler, I don't know.

    3. Invite some football Big East schools as basketball only members
    I haven't heard this option discussed, but it's what I would actually prefer to see. UConn, Cinci, Temple and Memphis have solid basketball programs, and it would be painful to see them relegated to competing against Tulane, Houston, Central Florida, South Florida and SMU. (Well I suppose Memphis would be used to it)

    That would be a very solid basketball conference. Of course, Tulane, Houston, Central Florida, South Florida and SMU would be super pissed, given that they all just left Conference USA only to be ditched. They might not be in the mood to let UConn, Cinci, Temple and Memphis be football only members of their conference, especially since they wouldn't have enough members to have a basketball conference without them (though they could fix that with more Conference USA raiding). Also the Catholic schools would have plenty of reason to distrust Cinci and UConn, as they'd both obviously still be pining for the ACC.
     
  3. EPJr

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  4. Q Exp

    Q Exp Member

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    Yeah, I think 2 is the most likely scenario. If I was commissioner of the new conference, I wouldn't invite Cincy and particularly UConn because they're fielding FBS teams. Their interests would be different from the rest of the conference. UConn (the administration, not the students) has acted like desperate mercenaries during the past year. If UConn was your spouse, he/she would sleep with your best friend and your closest relative...at the same time, secretly record the encounter, post the video on internet and then after you found out about the whole escapade through the internet, would try to convince you how much he/she loves you.

    As for the expansion, I think St. Louis might work, though technically they're just west of the Mississippi, but not Creighton. Creighton (which is in Omaha) is a good 4+ hours west of Chicago. Even though they're a Catholic school with a very good basketball program, a great arena and is located in a medium-sized market, that would be a long trip for teams on the East Coast to make.
     


  5. FlipsLikeAPancake

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    I agree, it now seems like the schools will be intent on making a clean split from the football schools. And that's probably for the best, as they'll have more longterm stability.

    As for geographic considerations, it depends what size the new conference will be. Obviously they'll need to expand - they won't be just 7 teams. 10 would allow the conference to play a pure round robin. At that size, yeah, I could imagine geographic considerations being important. But if the conference decided to go to 12, with East and West divisions, then St. Louis and Creighton would make sense for the West.
     
  6. EPJr

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    Potential all-Catholic conference offers schools challenges and opportunity
    [​IMG]

    As a chunk of the Big East transforms itself into a mostly or even all-Catholic basketball league, the conference faces a choice: play up or play down its faith-based roots?

    With Catholic higher education already struggling to strike a balance between faith and financial security, either course carries both challenges and opportunities.
    On the one hand, the seven schools that announced Saturday they’ll set off on their own — St. John’s, Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Seton Hall, Providence and Villanova — have already made clear they’ll look to non-denominational institutions that otherwise fit their profile, such as Butler, to expand.

    http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball...tholic-conference-offers-schools-challenges-a
     
  7. EPJr

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    GAME OF NAME IN THE BEC SPLIT
    [​IMG]

    “The Catholic Seven will claim that the name belongs to them because they are synonymous with the Big East brand,’’ Rupp said. “Like trademark disputes over rock band names, the Catholic Seven will likely argue that they are like Mick Jagger, who was largely responsible for making the Rolling Stones, the Rolling Stones. “This argument is more likely to succeed if the Catholic Seven can show that they and not the three schools that are staying controlled how the mark was licensed. In trademark law, if you control the quality of the product sold under a trademark, you have standing to claim that you own that mark.’’

    No one knows this better than former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, a Georgetown alum who was hired as a consultant by former Big East commissioner John Marinatto. Tagliabue knows the ins and outs of the Colts’ notorious midnight move from Baltimore to Indianapolis and the machinations that went on when the Browns were considering an exodus from Cleveland.
    In other words, long before the Catholic Seven decided to secede, they knew what the legal challenges might be. Fortunately for everyone involved, the Big East once again has a strong commissioner who likely can get the split done as expeditiously as possible.
    Mike Aresco, sources said, has been working tirelessly toward this solution: After the 2013 football season, the last year in the current BCS system, and the 2013-14 basketball season, he will sell the rights to the Big East name to the Catholic Seven. The league with those teams will continue to play its postseason tournament in the Garden.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/coll...me_in_big_east_split_Z8tWWS17CNrVQYweK2jPQK/1
     
  8. EPJr

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    Catholic 7 presidents to discuss timing of Big East exit

    The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the meeting details were supposed to remain confidential.

    Although no major expansion plans are expected to be announced, the group is expected to announce that it has reached an agreement with the remaining Big East schools to leave the league a year earlier than originally stated, with a start-up date of July 1, 2014, rather than July 1, 2015.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...e-catholic-7-friday-meeting-new-york/1807735/
     
  9. EPJr

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    NEW YORK -- The seven Catholic schools that have decided to leave the Big East and form their own league continued to plot the future Friday, retaining Proskauer Rose LLP and Pilson Communications, Inc., to aid in their defection.

    The university presidents met Friday in New York to discuss the future of the new league. They vow to "honor the history and tradition on which the Big East was established." There is no timetable for when other schools will join the league

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-bas.../catholic-7-retain-lawyers-plot-big-east-exit
     
  10. EPJr

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    Report: 'Catholic 7' banking on big payday with new TV deal
    [​IMG]

    The seven Catholic schools that plan to leave the Big East to form their own basketball conference expect to double their money off a television deal, according to sources.

    Sources say that Fox, whose Fox Sports 1 channel is set to launch in August, has an initial high offer on the table of more than $500 million for a 12-year deal. Fox Sports 1 will replace the network's motorsports channel Speed, already in 81 million homes. Sources say officials with Fox are scheduled to meet with those representing the interest of the "Catholic 7" in New York City on Wednesday. A Fox spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. A high-ranking source at NBC Sports Network, which has so far engaged in preliminary discussions with the "Catholic 7," declined comment. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz also declined comment on the network's interest in the "Catholic 7" games.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-bas...-schools-working-lucrative-tv-deal-basketball
     
  11. EPJr

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    C7 Meeting With Fox Today, 1-9-13

    It is being reported that each school will make 3 million each and no unequal revenue sharing.
    Also being reported that interest in VCU as the 5th team in has been intensifying the last few weeks. Looks like they could give SLU a run for that last spot.

    Plus, the C7 will be meeting in DC on Saturday, hopefully we will get some concrete news afterwards about the makeup of the league.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20130109/catholic-7-tv/index.html?mobile=no
     
  12. EPJr

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    UConn, Cincinnati leaning towards Catholic 7?
    [​IMG]
    While the football half of what remains of the Big East was conducting meetings in Dallas, hoping to keep San Diego State–and other nervous members–in the fold, the group of 7 Catholic schools were considering the possibility which would add existing football members Connecticut and Cincinnati into the group for all sports but football.

    http://ajerseyguy.com/
     
  13. EPJr

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  14. EPJr

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    [​IMG]
    MacManus: CBS Wants “Catholic 7″ Deal: CBS Sports is interested in acquiring television rights to the “Catholic 7″ college basketball conference, CBS Sports chairman Sean MacManus told Sports Illustrated in a piece published Sunday. CBS has already spoken with the former Big East schools, MacManus said, with the intention of acquiring rights for both CBS and the CBS Sports Network. (SI.com)
    http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/201...-in-new-rsn-also-cbscatholic-7-nba-countdown/
     
  15. EPJr

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    Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said Thursday the Fighting Irish have given up hope on departing the Big East early for the ACC and instead will play a full Big East schedule in 2013-14.

    "We do know we'll be in the Big East next season,” Brey said on the Big East coaches’ teleconference. “That decision was made last Friday.". "I feel strongly that the Catholic schools are going to be there with us (in 2013-14)," Brey said Thursday.

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2013-02-07/notre-dame-to-remain-in-big-east-for-2013-14
     
  16. EPJr

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    NBC joins bidding war for Catholic schools
    [​IMG]
    NBC Sports Network verbally offered the Big East between $20 million and $23 million per year for six years to acquire the league's media rights, sources told ESPN.
    NBC Sports Network's deal for the Big East would include a "bridge year" for basketball in 2013-14 and then would "sync" the football and basketball deals together for another five to six seasons so they expire at the same time.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-bas...-catholic-7-close-reaching-media-rights-deals
     
  17. EPJr

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    Two people familiar with the deal say the Big East is closing in on a six-year contract with NBC Sports Network for football and basketball rights that will pay the conference about $20 million per year.
    The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because negotiations weren't being made public.
    One person said the deal would likely be announced within the next two weeks. The Big East first has to go through the process of allowing ESPN, which currently holds the conference's football TV rights, to match the offer
    Among the issues being discussed by the departing and remaining Big East members are how to split tens of millions of dollars in revenue and which group will play under the Big East name.
    Notre Dame is also in the Big East for at least one more season before moving its sports - other than football and hockey - to the Atlantic Coast Conference
    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ap-source-big-east-moving-015446471--ncaaf.html
     
  18. EPJr

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    [​IMG]John Feinstein
    Catholic 7 schools, including Georgetown, charting a new yet familiar path
    Now it appears that the Catholic 7 may launch as early as next season as a two-division, 12-team league with a TV contract that will probably be comparable to what the former Big East schools would have made if they had accepted ESPN’s offer.
    In the next few months, the league will formally decide what schools it will invite to join, no doubt after first learning which ones will accept their invitation. It must also resolve two issues with its former conference: who gets to keep the Big East name and who might play their conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. The smart money is on the remaining Big East teams hanging on for dear life to the conference name and MSG preferring the new league, which will have a number of glamour teams, to be its March tenant going forward.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...a870-7876-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story_1.html
     
  19. EPJr

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    No winner in name game
    [​IMG]ROBBINS' NEST
    St. John’s president Father Donald J. Harrington said — in a hastily arranged conference call just minutes before the Red Storm’s tipoff against St. Francis of Brooklyn — his group was ready to move forward without the Big East name.
    Multiple sources told The Post that is not so. The Group of Seven want the name, which belongs to the Big East. Those sources also said teams remaining in the Big East see great value in the name recognition of the league.
    A source in the Big East said though the league prefers not to litigate, it will fight to retain the name. The Post recently reported the Big East probably would win such a case, but it’s not a slam dunk.
    The Catholic 7 would have a legitimate argument that when John Q. Public thinks Big East, he thinks Georgetown and St. John’s, not Cincinnati and South Florida. A lawsuit would be messy and expensive.
    Is it possible the two sides reach an agreement and everyone puts on a smiley face? Sure. But even the most amicable divorces leave scars.
    So now the Garden is in a great place: It can go with the ACC, which would bring its tournament to New York for the 2015-16 season. Or it can go with the Catholic 7, which has a deal in place through 2026.
    Even if the ACC decided after five years to rotate its tournament site — a move that might be necessary to placate the Southern schools in the league, it would continue to return.
    [​IMG]
    “The Garden is more important to the Catholic 7 than the Catholic 7 is to the Garden,’’ said one source.
    If this should happen, if the Catholic 7 doesn’t get its ducks in a row and the Garden goes with the ACC, there could be, let’s call it arena realignment.
    Barclays Center has the Atlantic 10 postseason tournament. But if Butler, Xavier and St. Louis, among others, leave the A-10 for the Catholic 7 conference, that league could move to Barclays. Sources said Barclays has even had a couple of “feeling out” conversations with the Big Ten
    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/college/basketball/no_winner_in_name_game_BEN2zMtdOxZqMmA5Ph1NzN
     
  20. EPJr

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    Report:
    Big East could change conference name as part of new TV deal

    [​IMG]

    The Big East Conference might be looking for a new name in the wake of a brand new television deal with ESPN.

    CBS Sports’ Jeremy Fowler reported that the conference discussed a name change as part of television negotiations with NBC Sports Network. NBC reportedly offered around $20 million per season for the conference’s television rights, but ESPN matched the offer.

    The conference could then sell the name to the “Catholic 7″ schools — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova — that are planning to break away from the conference to form their own league.

    As Fowler points out, the conference’s name will likely hold little meaning to the teams set to make up the conference in the coming years. Tulane, Memphis and SMU are set to enter the conference. The “Big East” will have more of an old Conference USA look, and no football team in the conference’s 10-team 2014 roster has been a part of the league for more than nine years

    http://tracking.si.com/2013/02/26/b...eal-espn-realignment/?sct=hp_t2_a10&eref=sihp
     
  21. EPJr

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    Big East, ESPN agree to TV deal
    [​IMG]
    The Big East Conference confirmed Saturday that ESPN has matched a media rights deal offer, keeping the network as the league's primary rights holder.

    The deal is for seven years and worth $130 million through the 2019-20 school year, league sources said. The Big East's new deal is worth less per school than its current ESPN deal and six times less than what ESPN presented two years ago.

    The conference did not reveal terms of the agreement in its announcement

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8977673/big-east-conference-espn-agree-tv-rights-deal
     
  22. EPJr

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    Catholic 7 ready to breakaway–now
    [​IMG]

    February 27, 2013 – 5:16 pm

    The goals for both sides are similar: move towards the future. But according to multiple sources within the Big East, the break away by the Catholic 7 group of schools could start next July and would include the Big East name.

    According to sources familiar with the talks, but not authorized to speak about them, the battle for the Catholic 7 schools–Seton Hall, Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Villanova, Providence, and St. John’s–is now down to a battle of money.

    Big East officials are willing to make this move for 2013 –and sell the Big East name-if enough money is paid to the remaining conference schools.

    http://ajerseyguy.com/
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-depaul-marquette-big-east-20130227,0,2929687.story
     
  23. EPJr

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    [​IMG]
    Catholic Seven could begin play as early as next season

    The future of the Catholic Seven basketball conference is expected to become more clear within the next week. An announcement about the television contract with Fox and the teams that the league plans to add could come as early as Tuesday at a Fox Television event in New York City.

    Perhaps the most significant development is that the new league appears headed toward beginning play next season, with one source saying that there's a "better chance" that the league starts in 2013-14 than in 2014-15.

    Presidents at the Big East football schools are scheduled to meet in Atlanta on Friday where they're expected to sign off on selling the Big East name to the Catholic Seven and finalize the exit fees. The Big East football schools are expected to keep nearly all of the exit fees the league earned from its spree of attrition and the leftover NCAA units from the departure of schools such as Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Syracuse

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20130228/catholic-7-news/#ixzz2MFlEyJ8z
     
  24. EPJr

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    [​IMG]

    The Big East's seven departing Catholic schools are expected to start their own league next season and will keep the Big East Conference name, sources told ESPN's Brett McMurphy, Andy Katz and Dana O'Neil.

    Joining the Catholic 7 schools -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova -- in the new "Big East" this fall will be Xavier and Butler, sources said

    Fox Sports Network is expected to announce the addition of the Catholic 7/Big East basketball league Tuesday in New York as part of the network's news conference announcing the addition of Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 channels.

    Fox Sports Network's deal with the Catholic 7 is expected to be worth at least $3 million annually per school, sources said.

    If unable to join the ACC in 2013-14, the Fighting Irish would consider spending one season in the Catholic 7 league before moving to the ACC in 2014, a source said.

    It's unknown if the ACC could still add Notre Dame in 2013-14. However, Louisville, which also is leaving the Big East for the ACC, must wait until 2014 because it would disrupt the ACC's football divisions and schedules, a source said. Rutgers also would not leave the Big East for the Big Ten until 2014
    While Butler, Xavier are expected to join the new Big East this fall, the Catholic 7 schools are also expected to add Dayton and St. Louis in 2014.

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-bas...name-new-league-next-season-according-sources
     
  25. EPJr

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    No Resolution To Big East Breakup As Friday Meeting Ends in ATL
    [​IMG]

    A meeting of the Big East Conference leaders ended Friday afternoon in Atlanta without a resolution to the league's impending separation.

    Current and future administrators met to discuss the breakup involving seven non-football schools that intend to form their own league. The seven Catholic institutions were expected to leave in 2014 or 2015, but ESPN and other media outlets have reported that the sides are negotiating an exit that would enable the new conference to begin play next year.

    Also part of the negotiations is the conference name. Reports indicate the departing schools to take the Big East name in exchange for financial considerations. The Catholic schools are likely to leave money they are entitled to behind and pay an exit fee for the opportunity to kick off the new Big East later this year.

    But according to a UConn official, there was nothing definitive decided at the meeting. Negotiations are continuing, but a deal between the sides has not been finalized.

    http://www.courant.com/sports/college/hc-big-east-0302-20130301,0,7382435.story
     
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