Andy Katz of ESPN brings us this nugget about the Xavier Musketeers and their interest in a basketball-focused conference to be started by St. John's, Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, Seton Hall, Providence, and DePaul (the "Catholic 7"). The interest is obvious, given the money, tradition, and exposure of the new league:
Outgoing Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski, who will become the Georgia Tech AD next month and is the current NCAA tournament selection committee chair... said if Xavier receives the expected offer from the departing Big East schools to become one of its new members then it would have to listen. It would be situation where there were like-minded schools with a common purpose. He also said that 2014 would be more realistic for any movement while 2013 could be a bit rushed, although everything is negotiable. He didn't say Xavier would definitely leave, but it sure sounded like the Musketeers have given this a lot of thought and are likely gone if asked, whenever that occurs.
Xavier is currently mired in a sluggish 13-9 season, but placed first in the Atlantic Ten for five of the past six years. The Musketeers are likely to be the first or second call the new conference makes along with the Butler Bulldogs.
The future league, approached by Fox Sports before deciding to break off from the current Big East, is expected to land a deal from Fox worth around $3 million per school; the league seems likely to start in 2014.