Will it soon be Xavier under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden? - Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Big East Realignment Rumors and Xavier's Future

The seemingly annual shuffling of conference affiliations has once again reached critical mass. This year's hot topic is once again the Big East, where the seven Catholic schools - DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova - are preparing to split.

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3 Total Updates since December 14, 2012
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Catholic Seven Officially Leaving Big East

Multiple sources are reporting that the presidents of the seven Catholic, basketball-focused institutions of the Big East released a statement today officially announcing their departure from that league. The statement reads:

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. 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.

We are grateful to our Commissioner, Michael Aresco, for his exceptional leadership of the Big East Conference. We have been honored to be associated with the outstanding group of institutions that have made up the Big East. While we pursue this opportunity for our institutions, we believe the efforts of the past two years have established the foundation for an enduring national football conference.

We look forward to building this new foundation with an emphasis on elite competition and a commitment to the development of our students engaged in intercollegiate athletics. That is where we will now spend our energy as we move forward.

What the next step in the process will be is unclear at this time. It's not certain whether this means the dissolution of the conference, or that the Catholic Seven will have to pay the departure fee to move forward. Even if the conference is dissolving, the question of how the money from previously committed departures will be divided is still at hand. And - don't kid yourselves - this is a move that is almost wholly brought about by financial concerns. As the Big East moved from their basketball roots to the cash cow that currently is college football, the seeds for this day were sown. The Big East once dominated the NCAA basketball landscape. Now it's done for.

Where this leaves Xavier is also - for the moment - unclear. Rest assured, though, pieces will start moving. The New York Post is reporting that the A-10 presidents are meeting next week to "solidify the commitments" of their members. It's no secret that a number of the most attractive teams to join the new league are in the Atlantic Ten, with Xavier topping the list. Seth Davis seems to think that this is the beginning of the end for the A10 as we know it.

Update 3:26pm: ESPN's Brett McMurphy sets the timeframe.

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Report: Big East May Not Dissolve Until 2015

Mark Blaudschun of the Boston Globe is now reporting that the Big East may not be able to dissolve until the fall of 2014 at the earliest and likely won't be able to get it done until the fall of 2015. His blog post citing "several sources" is here for more details. As with any realignment talk, the truth is a moving target while rumors fly fast and heavy. Much like the addition of Butler to the Atlantic Ten, the time frame can change quickly, so don't take anything reported as true to be gospel until it's written in stone.

Further muddying the waters is the enormous amount of inaccurate or misleading information available when a story like this is developing. As Shannon Russell points out on her blog, there is often more of a rush to disseminate information and less of a focus on making sure it is correct as reported. We'll do our best to keep you up to date here while also clearly differentiating between what is widely reported as true and what is just rumor. Stay tuned to this space for more updates as they become available.

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Xavier and the Catholic Seven

The seemingly annual shuffling of conference affiliations has once again reached critical mass. This year's hot topic is once again the Big East, where the seven Catholic schools - DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova - are preparing to split.

Continue
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