A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CATHOLIC 7 AND DAYTON
The Catholic 7 are adding just Xavier and Butler as of now to begin play next season, according to media reports — not the news Dayton wanted to hear.
UD is still in the picture. ESPN.com and SportsIllustrated.com both said the Flyers are expected to join the league as soon as 2014 when it expands to the anticipated 12 teams. But there are no certainties.
Q. How did this come about?
A. The Catholic basketball-oriented schools of the Big East — Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova, Seton Hall, St. John’s, DePaul and Providence — grew tired of being marginalized over the last couple of years as the conference became more and more football driven and it began losing valued members to other leagues. To fill the holes left by the departures of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville and others, the Big East began adding the likes of SMU, Houston and Tulane.
The Catholic 7, which already had to take less money than their football brethren in TV rights fees, didn’t want to be in a league with those mid-majors from other regions of the country and figured they would make more money starting their own venture. They were right.
Q. Who’s in the new conference?
A. In addition to the Catholic 7, Xavier and Butler look to be ready to be added for 2013-14, according to media reports. The league could start with nine members and it could be 10. According to CBSSports.com, there was no consensus among the presidents of the Catholic 7 on who the 10th team should be, although Creighton is said to have emerged as the favorite.
But TV wants as much content as possible, and 12 teams means more games than 10, which is why the consensus is that the league will get to 12 as soon as 2014-15.
Q. Why did they break away to form the new league?
A. In a word, money. According to reports, Fox, which is starting a sports network, is looking for content and is willing to pay a steep price for the right to the new league — as much as $3 million annually per team, which is roughly double what the Catholic 7 were making in the heyday of the Big East.