AP source: Butler, Creighton, Xavier heading to Big East
TribLIVE Sports Videos
NEW YORK — The two conferences growing out of the old Big East are moving forward.
Butler, Creighton and Xavier will join the so-called Catholic 7 schools in the new basketball conference keeping the Big East name, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement will not take place until Wednesday, when it will be made in conjunction with a news conference on the league's broadcast deal with Fox.
Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette and DePaul left to form a new league for next season.
Meanwhile, their old colleagues announced a broadcasting deal with ESPN on Tuesday. The unnamed conference's contract for football, basketball and other sports runs through the 2019-20 season and pays about $20 million a year.
Along with a new name, that league still needs a conference basketball tournament site, a revenue-sharing system and a 12th football member.
The Catholic 7 negotiated to keep their basketball tourney in Madison Square Garden. Xavier and Butler are leaving the Atlantic 10, while Creighton departs the Missouri Valley Conference.
Butler spent just one season in the A-10, rising rapidly in the college basketball world after making the national championship game in 2010 and ‘11 out of the Horizon League.
Xavier has long been one of the top basketball programs outside what were the power six conferences. Before missing the NCAA Tournament this season, it was one of only eight schools in the country to make at least seven straight NCAA appearances.
Creighton is a No. 7 seed in this year's tourney after winning its second straight MVC tournament title.
For those trying to keep score at home, the currently unnamed league will include South Florida, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Temple, Memphis, Central Florida, SMU and Houston in 2013. East Carolina and Tulane are to join in 2014, and Navy is scheduled for football in 2015.
The conference is seeking a 12th football school so it can play a title game in ‘15.
ESPN senior vice president Burke Magnus believes the new alliances will strengthen the league's members in recruiting and fan support, making its games more and more appealing as time goes on.
“We're excited about the upside here,” said Magnus, who heads the network's college sports programming.
The conference's commissioner, Mike Aresco, says it plans to announce a new name this spring, perhaps as early as next month, to get marketing started quickly. Branding groups, school presidents and business partners are being consulted to narrow the list.
Fans already are weighing in through social media.
“It's like a national focus group,” Aresco said.
The conference also needs to soon choose a conference basketball tournament site for next year. It will probably be in a city where a member school plays.
Other tasks include determining how to distribute the money from departing schools' exit fees and other sources.
ESPN has been affiliated with the Big East in its various incarnations for more than three decades. The network will own rights to at least 66 football games and 170 men's basketball games annually for various platforms, licensing some to other channels.
Magnus said it had not been determined yet if the conference would have a weekly basketball fixture on ESPN like the longstanding “Big Monday” games. Some football will be played on Thursday and Friday, but there has been no talk of Tuesdays, Aresco said.
With Texas schools joining, Aresco added, conference officials will be sensitive to conflicts with that state's beloved Friday night high school football games.
Aresco is confident the Catholic 7 schools will face their former fellow Big East members in basketball in future nonconference games because the split was amicable. The league expects to announce an additional over-the-air TV deal for basketball next week; its current contract is with CBS.
ESPN's existing football agreement with the Big East ran through 2013, while the 2013-14 season will act as a bridge year for the conference's basketball rights; the new contract kicks in for the 2014-15 school year.
There's a slight chance the football title game could start in 2014. Aresco says it will likely be held on campus, as the Pac-12 does, at least for the first few years.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mt. Lebanon native, Iraq war hero’s action goes unrewarded
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Hit sends Penguins’ Letang to hospital
- Probiotic bacteria help conquer ‘superbugs’
- Shortfalls sabotage promise of a union retiree’s pension
- Arab League gets serious on terrorism
- Wisconsin beats McConnell, Arizona, 85-78, to advance to Final Four
- Bordonaro boosts East girls to 79-72 victory in Cager Classic
- Pirates pitchers finding success with expanded strike zone
- Rep. Barletta urges Republicans to stay tough on illegal immigration
- Smaller properties in Alle-Kiski Valley remain attractive to drillers