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Big East Leaving Big East

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Big East (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Big East (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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ESPN.com is reporting that the seven Catholic schools leaving the Big East will take the conference’s name with them.

Sources say DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, and Villanova will play in a conference next season to be named the name Big East .  They are expected to be joined by Xavier and Butler.

Xavier and Butler currently play in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The Catholic, basketball-focused schools have been in negotiations with representatives of the football schools that have not announced plans to depart.

The Big East name has value, in part because it is a brand with a history recognized by college basketball fans.

As of right now, Connecticut, Cincinnati, South Florida and Temple will remain in the league that would lose the name Big East.  Several additional schools are scheduled to join the soon-to-be-not Big East Conference, including Tulane, East Carolina, Houston, Central Florida, Memphis, Southern Methodist, and Navy.

The major college football members will meet in Atlanta on Friday to discuss the departure of the seven basketball schools that are planning to leave the conference and create a new league.

According to media reports, the basketball schools plan to have their new conference up and running for the 2013-14 school year and will pay the football schools to keep the Big East name and play its conference tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.

This story contains part of an AP report.

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