Barring a last-minute snag, the Big East is expected to make a formal announcement on Thursday that the Catholic 7 group of schools–DePaul, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Providence, Villanova and St. John’s will leave the conference, effective June 30th.
The Catholic 7 are expected to also announce that their new conference will be called the Big East (effective July 1) and they will immediately pursue plans to add additional members, who will join the conference and begin play next season.
A meeting among the Catholic 7 group in New York next week will focus on the names, with two Atlantic 10 members, Butler and Xavier, the most likely immediate additions.
The Big East also is ready to announce that Notre Dame will exercise an option to leave the conference a year early and join the ACC as a member in all sports but football, but that announcement could also come out of the ACC office in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Big East is also expected to announce that a new name for the conference is being discussed and will be revealed, with more details in the next few weeks, as well as announcement that a site for next year’s men’s basketball tournament is being discussed.
All of the details of this final break up of the “original” Big East have not yet been completed. The key issue discussed over the past several days was the dispensing of assets from a fund in excess of 100 million dollars the conference collected from exit fees from the 16 teams that have announced their departure from the conference in the last few years as well money earned in the NCAA basketball tournament by conference teams
Although the final total is closer to 110 million, the Big East does not have immediate access to all of that money since payoffs are still being made and the amount of some schools exit fees (Rutgers) is still being contested.
The tentative arrangement agreed to by the Big East schools was to give the Catholic 7 a payout of slightly less than $10 million and then divide another approximately 100 million dollars among the remaining schools in the conference.
A football group of three schools-Cincinnati, Connecticut and South Florida–will receive the bulk of the funds, but not in one payment. Those payments will be made installments, perhaps over a period of a few years.
The first step will be to officially announce the split with the Catholic 7 and that should be made with a simple statement on Thursday, barring some unexpected snag.© Copyright 2013 Mark, All rights Reserved. Written For: A Jersey Guy