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Report: 'Catholic seven' will pay to get Big East name

AP
A Big East logo is displayed on the court after Georgetown played Western Carolina in a men's basketball game Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, at Verizon Center in Washington. (AP)

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Wire Reports
Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 7:48 p.m.
 

The Big East's seven departing Catholic schools are expected to start their own league next season and will keep the Big East Conference name, sources told ESPN's Brett McMurphy, Andy Katz and Dana O'Neil.

Joining the Catholic 7 schools — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova — in the new “Big East” this fall will be Xavier and Butler, sources said.

Creighton has emerged as the favorite to become the 10th team, and would also join next season, according to sources.

Xavier and Butler have not formally withdrawn from the Atlantic 10. To exit the A-10 with less than a year's notice would cost each school $2 million, Katz reported.

According to multiple sources, presidents and athletic directors from Big East full members, the schools that play all league sports including football, are scheduled to meet Friday in Atlanta to consider a separation proposal between those schools and the “Catholic Seven” schools looking to leave the league.

According to one Big East source, the proposal calls for the departing schools to take the Big East name with them and leave as early as this year, starting the new league in 2013-14.

One Big East source described “a full agenda” for Friday's meeting and predicted some debate.

“I think the brand is going to be hotly contested,” the source said.

Temple will be represented at the meeting but not Villanova and Georgetown and the others breaking away. Another source said the date of the separation still is in question. Multiple sources said the key is the value in dollar figures attached to each of the separation points.

The proposal apparently calls for the remaining schools, including Temple, to receive a considerable portion of Big East NCAA basketball units and exit fees left behind by departing schools such as Louisville and Syracuse if the name is taken by the other group and that group is allowed to leave immediately.

Another Big East source said that once the separation is agreed upon, the schools leaving could announce the setup of the new league “pretty quickly,” as soon as next week, possibly to start in the 2013-14 season.

This breakaway league could start with 10 members and go to 12 in future years.

Also, the new configuration, including Villanova, is expected to play its conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.

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