Catholic seven conference play might start as soon as 2014

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The seven, all coincidentally Catholic, schools that announced their departure from the Big East last month are reportedly negotiating an exit from the Big East conference after the 2013-2014 season, according to a ESPN.com source.

Big East rules require that members pay an exit fee of $10 million if they decide to leave the conference before a 27-month waiting period. If the members wait for two seasons, they won’t owe the conference anything.

The seven schools are also in the process of negotiating a television deal, likely, at this point, with Fox Sports. The Big East’s current deal with ESPN and CBS sports expires this year, which could motivate an earlier departure: “With the TV deal up and Fox looking for content right away, it would make sense to try to get out at the end of this season, if that could be negotiated.”

Due to lower fees divided among the new teams in the conference, teams like Georgetown “could more than double” their revenue compared to what they were making with the Big East, according to another ESPN.com source.

The rest of the Big East is planning to fight to keep the “Big East” naming right and is planning on adding a 12th school after the Catholic seven leave either in 2014 or 2015.

Other schools proposed to join the Catholic seven in a new basketball-centric conference include Butler, Xavier, Creighton, VCU, Dayton, and St. Louis.

Image courtesy of Big East Communications Department

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