Reports: Butler joining Big East



Tribune staff report

NEW YORK

One of the worst kept secrets is expected to be made official sometime this week.

NBC Sports and ESPN have reported that the “Catholic 7,” soon-to-be the new Big East Conference, will officially add Butler, Xavier and Creighton to form a 10-team basketball league ready for play at the start of the 2013-14 season.

For months it’s been speculated that teams like Butler, Xavier and Creighton would join the seven Catholic defectors, but sometime this week that announcement will make it official. The Big East is expected to make this announcement Wednesday or Thursday, before the NCAA Tournament begins, NBC Sports reported.

Although negotiations for a TV contract have started with several networks, the basketball-only conference gets the green light for scheduling and other official business July 1.

No news conferences have been planned for Butler, Creighton or Xavier and no comments have been made by school officials.

If everything goes as reported, Butler would have played in the Atlantic 10 Conference just one season after competing in the Horizon League from 1997-2011.

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