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DePaul set to make new Big East announcement

DePaul will join six other Catholic schools in announcing Friday their official separation from the current Big East to form a new Big East beginning play in July.

The announcement is anticipated to come Friday after the seven schools, including Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova and St. John’s, sign off on details of the exit, including payment of an estimated $100 million to the remaining football-playing schools in the conference.

The departing seven in return will get an estimated $10 million, rights to the Big East name and to the contract with Madison Square Garden for the conference tournament. They will also keep their ``units’’, or shares of revenue from the NCAA Tournament, including this season’s shares, which could be substantial if ranked teams like Georgetown and Marquette advance far in the tournament.

The new league will begin playing all sports July 1, including the men’s and women’s basketball season beginning this fall.

Indications are the announcement will not immediately include the additions of Butler and Xavier in the new league, though both are planning to join.

Those programs are expected to expedite their exits from the Atlantic 10 once creation of the new Big East is official.

The new league could expand next year to include Creighton from the Missouri Valley Conference, and possibly as many as two more members if it chooses to expand to 12.

The new conference of nine will have a television contract in place with the new Fox Sports 1 cable network, which begins airing in August.

The expected announcement is coming as the schools move to complete the exit before the start of the current Big East men’s and women’s conference tournaments. The women’s tournament in Hartford, Connecticut begins Friday while the men’s tournament in New York begins Tuesday.

The new league’s next moves will be to name a commissioner and staff and select a headquarter city.

The name of Dan Gavitt already is being mentioned as a likely candidate to lead the new league. Gavitt, whose late father founded the Big East, was the Big East associate commissioner for men’s basketball before being named the NCAA’s vice president of men’s basketball championships last June.

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