St. John's, Seton Hall expected to leave Big East Conference, per report

Stacy Revere

The Big East's seven catholic schools will announce their future to Big East in next 24-48 hours.

Around this time Tuesday it was reported the St. John's Red Storm and Seton Hall Pirates, along with the five other Big East Conference Catholic schools, were going to take the next six months to decided their future in the league.

Well, it seems in this day in age six months means just a few days, as on Wednesday night ESPN revealed in a report, a decision from the seven schools - St. John's, Seton Hall, DePaul Blue Demons, Georgetown Hoyas, Marquette Golden Eagles, Providence Friars and Villanova Wildcats - could come in the next 24-48 hours. And the decision is expected to favor all of them leaving the conference.

Sources told ESPN the seven schools discussed a number of options but most importantly wanted to have "lots of dialogue to better understand the best course of action for the future."

Sources said Wednesday it's becoming "more likely" the basketball schools will break away from the league's football members.

Currently, details are still are a bit unclear about what the Big East, which holds its league tournament in Madison Square Garden and relies strongly on its basketball-only schools to bring interest to the event, is going to do.

If the Catholic schools decide to leave or dissolve the league, something they can do with a two-thirds majority vote according to Article XII of the bylaws, the Big East would be stuck with just the Connecticut Huskies, South Florida Bulls, Cincinnati Bearcats and Temple Owls as its base members.

Next season, the conference will add the Central Florida Knights, Houston Cougars, Memphis Tigers and SMU Mustangs as full-members. In 2014, the Tulane Green Wave will join as a full-member concluding the "expansion" and leaving the league with nine basketball schools that create a very mediocre basketball league.

Its doubtful, basketball wise, the league could survive with that demographic. It also could start a chain reaction of football-only members, especially Boise St. Broncos and San Diego St. Aztecs, reneging on their decision to join the league, much like the TCU Horned Frogs did last Fall.

Meanwhile, the seven catholic schools will be left with two decisions: 1) participate in a legal battle to keep the Big East brand name and try to lure Atlantic 10 Conference schools, like the Dayton Flyers, Xavier Musketeers and Butler Bulldogs, into forming a 10-team basketball league; 2) join the A10 to form a possible super-basketball league.

Whatever decisions are made in the next 24-48 hours will be interesting, but it is almost a certainty the conference could be on the brink of imploding for good.

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