Catholic 7

John Cahill to supervise officials in ‘new’ Big East

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The supervisor of officials for the “new” Big East Conference, which will be officially recognized by the NCAA on August 1, will be a face familiar to many fans who have followed the holdovers for years.

That person would be John Cahill, who makes the move from the floor after forty years as a game official. Cahill’s final game was this year’s national title game between Louisville and Michigan, and in the story by Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times-Union Cahill stated that initially had second thoughts in regards to his decision to retire.

“I had second thoughts right after the time I walked off the floor in Atlanta on (that) Monday night,” Cahill said Wednesday. “I knew down deep that there was a possibility — although it was remote at that time — that it could be the last time. I was a little nostalgic about it, but not as nostalgic as I anticipated being. That convinced me that, you know what, it’s the right time.”

With the new position Cahill will have more control over his travel, as he can now pick and choose which games to attend as opposed to working nearly every night as he and many other officials who have become household names have done in recent years.

“I certainly can control my travel,” said Cahill, who missed the final month of the 2011-12 season because of a stress fracture in his leg. “If I go to the airport and it’s snowing, I can turn around and watch it on TV rather than wait all day to get there.”

How physical will play be in the conference, which officially adds Butler, Creighton and Xavier on July 1? That will be an interesting discussion to have in the weeks leading up to the start of the season, especially when considering the history of the Big East.

And Cahill will certainly be an influential figure as the conference looks to develop a “new” identity nationally.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Report: UConn Athletic Director denies Catholic 7 rumors

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The defection of the Catholic 7 and Louisville’s recent acceptance to the ACC, have left teams like UConn and Cincinnati left in a Big East Conference that looks more and more like Conference USA.

Both Cincinnati and UConn are looking for new homes and Friday, following a meeting among Big East administrators in Dallas, rumors began to surface that the two remaining Big East schools could join the Catholic 7 in all sports, but football, and take the gridiron as part of the Mountain West Conference.

Mark Blaudschun reported that Friday evening:

According to sources at Connecticut, some UConn officials were considering a plan which would keep the Huskies with the Catholic 7–Marquette, DePaul, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova and Providence, as well as Cincinnati.

He went on to suggest that UConn could play football for the MWC, C-USA, or even the MAC.

However, that report is quickly being disputed by the UConn Athletic Director, Warde Manuel, according to the Hartford Courant.

“We’ve never had a conversation,” Manuel told Paul Doyle and Desmond Conner on Friday evening. “Our intent is to work with the remaining members of the Big East and the current members coming in. That’s been our intent all along. We have not had a conversation with any other group, any other conference, period. I have not had any conversations.”

According to the report from the Courant, Mike Aresco, the Big East commissioner held the meeting to discussing expansion and a television rights package among other things.

Doyle and Conner also reported that current Big East schools Cincinnati and South Florida were in attendance, as well as future members Central Florida, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy, San Diego State, Temple and Tulane.

The remains of the Big East continue to have an unclear future.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Catholic 7 reportedly searching for big television deal

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Having recently declared their independence from the Big East but still with a mass of legal entanglements ahead, the Catholic 7 are reportedly moving ahead with plans to lay a financial foundation for their conference by exploring options in the television market.

According to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, the seven basketball-only schools that formerly belonged to the Big East are working closely with Fox to strike a deal that could be worth as much as $500 million over 12 years. A meeting will reportedly take place Wednesday between the network and a representative of the Catholic 7.

Fox, along with CBS and NBC, is looking to rapidly expand in the sports television market and is launching its own network, Fox Sports 1, in August. That network would be in competition with the CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network, all three of which are working to chip away at market leader ESPN.

The proposed deal with Fox would give the Catholic 7 along with the members it eventually adds reportedly close to $5 million per year per school, which would be a significant boost from the $2.5 million annually that the group made as a non-football member of the Big East. New member schools reportedly would make half as much per year.

But roadblocks still remain. Exit fees and timing are still to be worked out, and the conference has not settled on whether it will eventually be comprised of 10 or 12 schools, nor has it formally invited members to fill those vacancies.

To read the entire report, click here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Catholic 7 retain legal counsel following New York meeting Friday

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The seven Catholic schools met in New York on Friday, as the non-FBS, Big East schools continue to plan their future.

According to the Associated Press, the Catholic 7 announced they have retained Proskauer Rose LLP and Pilson Communications, Inc., following Friday’s meeting.

Presidents from St. John’s, Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Seton Hall, Providence and Villanova met Friday to discuss further plans of the new league, vowing to “Honor the history and tradition on which the Big East was established.”

On Thursday, Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant reported that the agenda for this meeting was to continue discussion on an exit strategy, as well as a time frame. According to Big East conference bylaws, the seven schools are being held to a 27-month exit window. The Courant reported the seven schools could negotiate an early exit with the remaining Big East schools – UConn, Cincinnati, South Florida, and Temple.

Doyle went on to report that the use of the “Big East” name and postseason contract with Madison Square Garden, as well as the television package and expansion were also expected to be brought up.  In the Associated Press report, it say there was no timetable for when other schools will join the new league.

Schools such as Xavier and Butler – who is in its first season in the Atlantic 10 – are just two of the teams rumored to join the Catholic 7.

Since Sept. 2011, the Big East has lost Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Louisville to the ACC. Rutgers will join the Big Ten.

In December, the seven Catholic schools officially announced their departure from the Big East.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne