Report: Catholic 7 To Withdraw From Big East

USA TODAY Sports

Update: Per USA Today, The seven Catholic, basketball members of the Big East Conference have decided to announce their departure from the league, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The two spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the talks were supposed to remain confidential.

We didn't get much time to revel in the joy of Georgetown's shellacking of Longwood before the Big East once again began to be trolled by ESPN. Per this piece, the Big East's seven, non-FBS schools met with Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco recently to discuss the possibility of leaving the conference to form a hoops-only league with other similar schools:

Sources said the New York meeting was the first among the seven schools (Marquette, DePaul, St. John's, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall and Villanova) and ultimately could lead to them splitting from the Big East's football members.

Sources said the seven schools discussed a number of options but most importantly wanted to have "lots of dialogue to better understand the best course of action for the future." Another source said no decision was made on what future action to take.

The article then goes on the say that the Catholic Seven were angered by the addition of Tulane and the impact that Tulane's basketball program will have on the Conference's RPI. What direction the Conference will go from here is still up in the air, as the Catholic Seven still face a number of hurdles:

The problem for the Catholic seven would be that if they were to venture off without taking the assets and brand name, they would forfeit all the NCAA tournament revenue from the conference and would be left without any start-up to form a new conference. Then, of course, the seven schools would have to attempt to lure Atlantic-10 members Xavier, Dayton, Saint Louis, Butler and possibly Creighton, the latter out of the Missouri Valley, to form a city league that would stretch from St. Louis to Chicago to Milwaukee to Indianapolis to Cincinnati to Dayton to Providence to New York-New Jersey to Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.

The recent discussions are no doubt motivated by the news that the new Big East media rights deal may generate less than what the current deal provides for the member schools, and the resulting ripple effect that may have on the Conference should Boise State and San Diego State (and maybe even Houston) decide to pull out of their contracts and seek affiliation elsewhere.

In any case, it's clear that we haven't heard or seen the last of this Conference realignment game, and Georgetown's future as a member of the Big East Conference is certainly in doubt.

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