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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The seven basketball-only schools of the Big East conference will leave, and the conference is likely to disband because of it, according to a report from CBS Sports.

DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova are the schools mentioned in the report. The New  York Post reports that the split will be announced later on Thursday.

CBS Sports’ Garry Parrish reports the following:

“Lawyers are going to have to sort it all out,” a source told CBSSports.com. “I don’t think anybody knows exactly how this is going to happen. They just know it’s time to separate.”

 Whether a new league featuring DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova would be called the Big East or something else is, like almost everything else, unresolved. But a source told CBSSports.com that those seven schools would target at least three and perhaps five basketball programs to join them, and that Xavier, Dayton, St. Louis, Creighton and Butler would be among the targets.

 Why is this happening now?

 A source told CBSSports.com that the league’s nonfootball-playing members have simply determined that they’re going to have to move on someday and are finally ready “to just go ahead and do it.” That belief seems to trump the idea that the nonfootball-playing members might be leaving television revenue on the table by separating — although it should be noted that athletic directors at those schools aren’t sure they can’t get a comparable or even better TV contract with a strong basketball-only league.


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