The Big East will remain next season, at least in name. The seven Catholic schools that decided to leave the conference will keep the title when they form their new league next fall, [according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy]:
As of now, the conference will include DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. Johns, Seton Hall and Villanova. [According to an ESPN report] filed by McMurphy, Andy Katz and Dana O'Neil, Xavier and Butler will also be added to the conference.
The "Catholic 7" schools will be able to move early thanks to a new deal set up by the Fox Sports Network. A new media deal will reportedly be worth about $3 million per school, according to ESPN's report.
The departing schools will have to pay the original Big East for naming rights, though the exact amount is not currently known.
These teams followed the recent trend of teams leaving the group, including West Virginia, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Louisville and Notre Dame.
With the Catholic 7 schools leaving, the original conference will only have three remaining teams from this past year: Cincinnati, Connecticut and South Florida. Houston, UCF, SMU and Memphis are all expected to join the conference next season, although it appears that they will have to decide on a new name.
Louisville coach [Rick Pitino], whose team is set to join the ACC in 2014, is on the side of the departed teams in this issue. He told [Eric Prisbell of USA Today] the following:
I think without question, the Catholic 7 deserves the Big East name. They should have, in my estimation, broken away from the football schools three years ago. I think they waited way too long. They should have been fed up a long time ago.
There is a lot of tradition among the teams staying, and basketball fans, at least, should be excited about what the future holds for the new Big East.
Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida, Houston, UCF, SMU, and Memphis....it appears they will ahve to decide on a new name.Conference USA?