DePaul’s New Conference Is Finally Starting To Take Shape




Back In December, I wrote about DePaul leaving the Big East Conference for a new conference at later date. Well after today it appears that the move will be sooner than originally planned.

DePaul along with the other Roman Catholic schools in the Big East {Marquette, Villanova, St. Johns, Georgetown, Providence, and Seton Hall}, are planning to form their own conference in which basketball will be the main priority.

This was done in response to the recent trend of conference realignment intended to serve college football. “The Catholic Seven” as they are dubbed have either never had football programs {Seton Hall and Providence}, abandoned their football programs {DePaul, Marquette, and St. Johns}, or play football in lower divisions {Georgetown and Villanova}.

Big East Logo


The Big East Conference was founded in 1979 as a basketball only conference. The purpose of the league was to form a union with Division 1 east coast universities who’s primary sport is basketball. Over the years the conference grew larger and by 1991, the conference started fielding football.

From 2003-2005 the Big East saw a major transition within it’s membership. Big East powerhouses Miami-FL, Boston College, and Virginia Tech had departed for the Atlantic Coast Conference where they are still members to this day.

But the conference bounced back from these losses by managing to pull DePaul, Marquette, Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida away from Conference USA. Since 2010 the Big East has continued to expand it’s football operations while leaving basketball at a stand still.

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Because of the recent movements to make the Big East a football “super conference”, The Catholic Seven have decided to form their own path and create a conference similar to the old Great Midwest Conference which existed from 1990-1994.

It was originally said that the move won’t happen until July of either 2014 or 2015. Today, there are reports that the move could take place as soon as July of this year. It’s also been said that the universities of St. Louis, Dayton, and Xavier could also join.

Those three schools were charter members of the Great Midwest. Xavier and St. Louis are also Catholic institutions. Other details that have been reported include a possible major television deal with Fox Sports. Later this year, Fox will be changing it’s Fuel TV and Speed Channel stations to become Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2.

It’s being said that adding DePaul’s new conference will be major part of that transition. But the biggest issue is what the name of the conference will be. ESPN is reporting that The Catholic Seven could keep the Big East name for a hefty price.

Current Big East commissioner Mike Aresco, has been in closed door meetings with the remaining schools as well as schools slated to join between July of this year and 2015. The purpose of the meetings is to decide how the remaining and future members will forge ahead.

Because of this recent activity, Boise State and San Diego State have backed out of their commitments to join the Big East in July. Instead they have decided to remain in the Mountain West and have signed long term deals with the conference.

According to Sports Illustrated, Notre Dame will be the most effected if these moves become official. The Fighting Irish are still independent from a football standpoint, but the basketball program was to remain in the Big East until 2015. From there they would move onto the ACC.

The Golden Domers from South Bend are now deciding whether or not to join the Catholic Seven until they move to the ACC, or try to move to the ACC ahead of schedule. Whatever the case may be, whatever the name of the league may be, DePaul’s future is looking brighter from a organizational stand point.

Now they just need to perform better on the basketball court. Chicago now has the potential to truly be a leader in the college basketball world.


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