New Big East will have 10 teams, FOX TV deal

Though it can't take its name quite yet, the New Big East became official Wednesday, as the presidents of the schools involved announced several key details crucial to the new basketball-focused conference. 

Marquette University will join the seven schools departing the from the current Big East in DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova in the new league. Butler, Creighton and Xavier will join the seven to form a 10-team conference. 

"I believe we're in the best basketball conference in the country right now," Marquette University president Father Scott R. Pilarz said in a statement. "If you look at the history of the schools, the original seven plus the new three, it's obviously an elite group.

"The new conference offers a tremendous opportunity for all 16 of Marquette's athletic programs to compete against mission-driven and like-minded institutions."

Called the New Big East until it can claim the Big East name on July 1, the conference has announced a 12-year television partnership with FOX Sports and its new national cable network, FOX Sports 1. 

As part of the deal, FOX Sports will acquire television rights to all Big East games and the Big East tournament.

"The New Big East is fortunate to have found a partner such as FOX Sports, which shares our intense passion for college basketball and is committed to celebrating the student-athletes and the natural rivalries that make college athletics so unique and appealing across the nation," Father Dennis Holtschneider of DePaul said in a statement. 

The Big East will officially begin on July 1, 2013, and the conference's basketball tournament will remain at Madison Square Garden. Butler, Creighton and Xavier will all begin play in the conference for 2013-14 academic year. New York-based senior executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates will lead the search for the league's commissioner.  

"The Big East is alive and well," Pilarz said. "The foundation we have created for this dynamic 10-team Big East conference will help preserve and build upon the Big East's storied tradition of elite level competition in a wide range of collegiate sports."

Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.

Send feedback on our
new story page