SI.com: The future of the Catholic Seven basketball conference is expected to become more clear within the next week. An announcement about the television contract with Fox and the teams that the league plans to add could come as early as Tuesday at a Fox Television event in New York City.
Perhaps the most significant development is that the new league appears headed toward beginning play next season, with one source saying that there’s a “better chance” that the league starts in 2013-14 than in 2014-15.
That leaves the biggest looming question of how many teams will the Catholic Seven end up adding for its inaugural season. The chance exists that the league could start with nine teams if it begins next year, as the Atlantic 10 exit fees are $2 million per school. (In the non-football world, that’s a significant amount of money.) One of the biggest remaining snags is Butler and Xavier untangling themselves from the Atlantic 10, as an immediate departure would be expensive.
The league will eventually expand to 12 teams in the next few years, with Creighton, Dayton and Saint Louis expected to fill in the final three slots. If the league grows to 10 next year Creighton is considered a slight favorite for the 10th spot.
Some clarity is also expected soon about Madison Square Garden as the home for a postseason basketball venue. It’s expected that MSG will eventually link together with the Catholic Seven schools, barring any significant interest by the ACC to become an annual occupant. (That interest is unlikely because of the ACC’s traditional Southern geographic ties.)
It’s likely that the Catholic Seven will end up with its two biggest wishes — the Big East name and the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Fox appears to be getting its biggest wish, too — that the new league will begin play next season.
Well there we have it. Looks like what everyone has been expecting for a while is about to happen. Kind of sucks that the A-10 is getting stripped like that. Sure with SLU, Dayton, Xavier, and Butler leaving, it means that the league will be more competitive; as opposed to the same teams at the top year in and year out. Unfortunately that also means the A-10 as a conference is weaker and the days of getting 4 or 5 teams in the NCAA Tournament are likely over.
The A-10 Conference will now have to aggressively recruit new schools to come into the league. Over the next couple years, there will be 6 schools departing leaving the conference with 10 teams. I think 12 teams would be the perfect size. I guess the A-10 will renew interest in adding George Mason which I think would be a great school to add. The Patriots are always a tough team to play, they just don’t get the exposure they somewhat deserve. I also think Wichita State would be a good school to add though they may not like the traveling. SLU has always complained about the traveling and Wichita State is further away. Perhaps a school like Murray State could be added if Wichita State turns the A-10 down. Only time will tell now.
As a URI fan, Xavier has absolutely owned the Rams; beating them in the regular season 15 years in a row. With the recruits URI has coming in plus all the transfers gaining eligibility next year, it would have been nice to give Xavier a bit of payback…
Also, how much power do these schools have? They get to keep the name AND the tournament at MSG?! The remaining schools must be a bunch of pussies.
As always, for pillaging the A-10 so hard, the Catholic 7 schools can all go fuck themselves.