A variety of reports suggest that the seven Big East schools that do not compete in high-level football may split off to form their own basketball-centric athletic conference.
Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall and DePaul share a history of relatively successful men’s basketball programs, along with a heritage as Roman Catholic colleges. They have more in common with one another than they do with the other members of the Big East, which has diluted its basketball brand in its effort to remain intact as an elite football conference.
A conference composed of these seven teams, along with select others that do not sponsor Division I football programs, could offer a men’s basketball league that was roughly as competitive as that of major conferences like the Pacific-12 and the Southeastern Conference. The alternative, to remain attached to the other members of the Big East, would put these schools at risk of being associated with a conference that would come to be regarded as second-tier.