Multiple reports on Thursday night indicated that the “Catholic 7” would start their own league next fall, as opposed to waiting. That means DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova will be leaving the Big East Conference after this season.
As, Jeff Goodman reported on Thursday, Butler and Xavier will also be targeted to join the conference in the fall. Creighton is in the mix, along with Dayton and Saint Louis.
ESPN.com reported that the seven departing Catholic schools would keep the Big East name, while the other teams look for a new conference name.
Sources confirmed to Goodman on Thursday that the Big East presidents and athletic directors are meeting on Friday in Atlanta to discuss a number of issues. The ADs and presidents from the Catholic 7 schools will not be in attendance. SI.com reported that the football schools would discuss the sale of the Big East name.
This leaves Notre Dame floating in the wind. The Irish were not expected to join the ACC until the summer 2014, but with the Catholic 7 schools departing, it could force the Irish to make a move sooner rather than later. They could either move to the ACC before next season if allowed or spend a year in the Catholic 7 before making the switch to the ACC.
The Catholic 7 is also expected to announce a television deal with FOX Sports Network, which will reportedly pay between $3 million and $4 million per school.