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Big East looks to stay intact for one more season as schools decide future

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

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The Big East likely will remain intact for one more season as Notre Dame and the seven other exiting Catholic members take more time to negotiate their exits.

Notre Dame, which announced plans to leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference last year, has been unable to negotiate its early departure before the required 27-month waiting period, athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Thursday. The seven other non-football playing members, including DePaul, are only in the early stages of similar negotiations.

``We’ve said all along we would try to develop a timetable for leaving earlier because we think it’s in both parties’ interests,’’ Swarbrick said. ``That just hasn’t happened.’’

Basketball coach Mike Brey said the continuing membership of the other seven schools for at least one more season was another reason to stay.

``I feel strongly that the Catholic schools are going to be there with us,’’ he said during a teleconference call. ``It looked like the Catholic schools were not going to be able to formulate this [new] next season. Now, I think anything could happen. Could they put it together in the next six weeks? Nothing would shock me.’’

If that were to happen, Swarbrick said Notre Dame would reconsider its decision to stay.

``But I think we feel they’re going to be in there, we’re going to be in there, so the last hurrah is going to be next year, not this year,’’ Swarbrick said.

The other departing seven include DePaul, Marquette, St. John’s, Georgetown, Villanova, Seton Hall and Providence.

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