Big East commissioner Mike Aresco spoke to the to the athletic directors in the conference on Thursday to let them know that he believes the seven Catholic schools would be breaking away from the Big East as we know it. This comes on the heels of an announcement earlier in the week that the seven were unhappy with media deals and the future of the conference.
Though, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, St. Johns, Seton Hall, Providence, and Villanova have not made the news official, it appears that it is only a matter of time. The schools with meet with the commissioner via a conference call on Saturday, which may shed more light on the situation.
It is still unknown whether the schools will leave and try to join or create an entirely new conference of like-minded colleges and universities, or if they will dissolve the Big East and take the name with them. Of course, the newer and remaining members are hoping for the teams to exit peacefully, leaving the conference intact.
It is rumored that the schools are already looking for other schools to join them and they may have a bite already. It was reported by jsonline.com’s Michael Hunt that Xavier University and Butler would leave the Atlantic 10 conference to join the new unnamed league, bringing the membership total to nine. It was also reported by Hunt that Creighton, Virginia Commonwealth, Dayton, or St. Louis could become be the tenth team to round the conference out.
It appears the Big East, even if they survive the departure of the Catholic seven, is in full panic mode. The conference is falling apart quickly and if schools don’t act soon, they may be without a home in the near future.