SBD/February 8, 2013/Colleges

Big East Likely To Remain Intact For One More Season; Catholic 7 Influenced Decision

Notre Dame's decision to stay in the Big East one more year was made last Friday
The Big East likely will "remain intact for one more season as Notre Dame and the seven other exiting Catholic members take more time to negotiate their exits," according to Toni Ginnetti of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick on Thursday said that the university has been "unable to negotiate its early departure before the required 27-month waiting period." He added, "We’ve said all along we would try to develop a timetable for leaving earlier because we think it’s in both parties’ interests. That just hasn’t happened." Men's basketball coach Mike Brey said that the continuing membership of the other Catholic 7 schools for at least one more season was "another reason to stay." However, if the Catholic 7 were to leave early, Swarbrick said that the university would "reconsider its decision to stay" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/8). Brey on Thursday indicated that the decision to play one more year in the Big East was "made" last Friday. He added, "We do know we’ll be in the Big East next season. Thank God we have some direction." In South Bend, Tom Noie wrote with the chance the Big East’s seven Catholic schools likely are "staying put for 2013-14, remaining in the Big East is that much more attractive for Brey." Brey said, "I feel strongly that the Catholic schools are going to be there with us. That’s one of the reasons we decided to sit tight" (SOUTHBENDTRIBUNE.com, 2/7).

WORKING ON THE DETAILS: ESPN.com's Andy Katz reports the Catholic 7 still are "negotiating their exit from the Big East and are far from finalizing a date to withdraw," though the exit is "likely for the fall of 2014." The league still needs to "lock in on a television partner ... and a commissioner." Sources said that Fox is the "leader in the clubhouse" for the TV rights (ESPN.com, 2/8).
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