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Thursday, February 28, 2013
Sources: Catholic 7 keep 'Big East'

By ESPN.com staff


The Big East's departing Catholic 7 schools are expected to start their own league next season and will keep the Big East Conference name, sources told ESPN's Brett McMurphy, Andy Katz and Dana O'Neil.

Joining the Catholic 7 schools -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova -- in the new "Big East" this fall will be Xavier and Butler, sources said.

Xavier and Butler have not formally withdrawn from the Atlantic 10. To exit the A-10 with less than a year's notice would cost each school $2 million, Katz reported.

The Catholic 7's exit from the Big East is being expedited by Fox Sports Network. The network initially contacted the seven schools and laid the groundwork for them to leave the Big East with the promise of a lucrative media rights deal, a source said.

Fox Sports Network is expected to announce the addition of the Catholic 7/Big East basketball league Tuesday in New York as part of the network's news conference announcing the addition of Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 channels.

Fox Sports Network's deal with the Catholic 7 is expected to be worth at least $3 million annually per school, sources said.

It's unknown how much it will cost the Catholic 7 to keep the Big East name.

To read the full story from Brett McMurphy, Andy Katz and Dana O'Neil, click here.