C0nfirming weeks of speculation and days worth of real talks, the seven Big East schools that do not play FBS football have voted unanimously to leave the conference.
The seven schools leaving, nicknamed the ‘Catholic 7’, are: DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova.
As of now, there are only three remaining members of the Big East in UConn, who was a founding member in 1979, and Cincinnati and South Florida.
“Earlier today we voted unanimously to pursue an orderly evolution to a foundation of basketball schools that honors the history and tradition on which the Big East was established,” the seven presidents said in a joint statement. “Under the current context of conference realignment, we believe pursuing a new basketball framework that builds on this tradition of excellence and competition is the best way forward.”
The futures of UConn, Cincy, and USF are not the only ones that are now up in the air.
It remains to be seen exactly what the seven basketball-only school will do. They may simply start their own, seven-member conference, bring in others to make a bigger one, or join the A-10 as a group, swelling that league to 21 =schools.
Further, several schools, headlined by Boise State and San Diego State, are scheduled to join the Big East as football-only and all sports members in the next two seasons. Those schools were all promised more advertising and television revenue. However, according to reports, the departure of the seven schools lowers the conference’s broadcasting revenue by an estimated “15 to 20 percent”.
Since 2004, a whopping 17 schools have left the Big East:
The loss of the seven non-FBS schools is the latest in a dizzying array of defections from the Big East, which formed in 1979. The seven schools bring the number of departures since 2004 to 17.
|TCU †||2011||Big 12|
|West Virginia||2012||Big 12|
|† – Announced it would join BE in 2010, then withdrew for Big 12 in 2011 before playing|
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