Thursday, February 28, 2013

Earlier exit for Catholic 7?

All indications had the seven non-BCS Catholic schools departing the Big East after the 2013-14 season but there has been rumblings that DePail, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova may opt to leave at the end of this season.

"I'm hoping in a couple of weeks we'll have that (separation) piece done," DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto said in a Chicago Tribune story. "Once that piece gets done, the next step is to determine the (start) date, and that would be part of the negotiation of whether it's 2014, or if it's 2015 or if there's a possibility if it could be 2013."

While the seven schools could have its own league schedule next season, the prevailing notion was that they would wait a year to get more teams on board but that is no longer the case.

"Every school is committed to making it happen, whether that's on a super-compressed timeline or a little bit less compressed timeline," Marquette athletic director Larry Williams told the Tribune "Even if it starts next summer, there's still a lot of work to do. If it's going to happen this summer? There are going to be some real, real long days. But I think everybody is committed to doing it."

ESPN is reporting that Butler and Xavier have agreed to join the league, which will keep the Big East name, and Creighton is also expected to join for next season.

On the surface it would seem as if this is more of a basketball issue and it wouldn't impact the football team. However, if all seven schools leave it could increase the likelihood that Louisville and Notre Dame open to jump to the ACC sooner rather than later.

If Louisville and Notre Dame bolt for the ACC next season as well and Rutgers leaves a season early for the Big 10 UConn will be left every further behind in the conference realignment game. Big East holdovers Cincinnati,  South Florida and Temple will join Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and Southern Methodist with the possibility of bringing in East Carolina and Tulane later this year rather than in 2014.


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