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Big East Reportedly Targeting 2014 for Conference Split

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2013

The Big East will look a whole lot different by 2014, as the conference is reportedly targeting a "summer 2014 departure" for the seven basketball schools looking to break away and form their own conference, according to ESPN's Andy Katz.

Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's, Marquette, DePaul and Villanova are the seven schools looking to part ways with the Big East soon.

Katz reported the following on Friday:

The source said the conference call didn't focus on expansion but rather on the exit of the seven, as well as a new television contract...The source said the remaining Big East schools expect a legal battle with the departing schools for the Big East name, which carries with it branding rights and national recognition.

A 2014 departure means that the seven schools would stick around for another season in 2013-14, which would help keep the conference relevant next year while two of its most prominent programs, Pittsburgh and Syracuse both transition to the ACC.

Louisville and Notre Dame will make the jump from the Big East to the ACC as well, but a little bit later in the fall of 2014, putting more pressure on the Big East to add top-notch basketball schools. 

To make matters worse, Rutgers is heading to the Big Ten in the fall of 2014 as well, meaning that only three of the Big East's current basketball schools would remain, although others are expected to join in order to replace the departing schools.

Of the seven Catholic schools set to depart, only two, Georgetown and Marquette, are currently ranked in the AP Top 25. 


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