On Wednesday morning, the future of the Big East Conference was revealed. Marquette will be joined by Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova and Xavier as the members of the “new Big East.”
University President the Rev. Scott Pilarz and Athletic Director Larry Williams dubbed the new conference “a premier athletics conference centered on elite-level basketball” in an email to members of the Marquette community.
The new conference comes just three months after seven Catholic schools in the current Big East – with the exception of Notre Dame – decided to break away from the conference’s football schools.
In the last three months, the Catholic Seven battled for their freedom, and they now come away with the Big East name and rights to hold their men’s postseason basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden.
At Wednesday morning’s press conference in New York, it was announced that the 10 schools would play on the new FOX Sports network debuting in August. The Big East’s football schools finalized a deal with ESPN that gives the ABC network media rights through 2020.
The “New Big East” will now begin its search for a league commissioner and set up a league office before the NCAA begins the process to set up championship qualification for its various sports.
The football schools of the Big East will find a new name in the coming months. Central Florida, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rutgers, South Florida, Southern Methodist and Temple will be the members of that conference in 2013-2014.
Rutgers heads to the Big Ten in 2014, while Louisville departs for the ACC at the same time. East Carolina and Tulane have already been announced as their replacements in 2014. Navy enters the picture as a football-only entry in 2015.
Of the 10 schools in the new conference, five will be participating in the 2013 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament. League play begins next fall.