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Big East breakup: Who's leaving next?

The Big East breakup is picking up speed: A coalition of seven Catholic schools announced Thursday that their new conference will be up and running for the 2013-2014 school year.

By Ralph D. RussoAssociated Press / February 28, 2013

Connecticut's Ryan Boatright, left, reacts during an NCAA college basketball game against Georgetown in Storrs, Conn., Wednesday, Feb. 27. Georgetown is one of seven Catholic schools breaking away from the Big East.

Jessica Hill / AP

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NEW YORK

The breakup of the Big East's football and basketball schools appears to be on the fast track.

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The major college football members will meet in Atlanta on Friday to discuss the departure of the seven basketball schools that are planning to leave the conference and create a new league.

According to media reports Thursday, the basketball schools plan to have their new conference up and running for the 2013-14 school year and will pay the football schools to keep the Big East name and play its conference tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco told the AP in a phone interview no deal has been completed between the two groups but "some of this stuff is clearly coming down to the wire."

Aresco will be meeting with the presidents and athletic directors from the football members. The members that do not have FBS football programs will not be part of the meeting.

The seven Catholic schools that are breaking away from the football part of the rebuilt Big East include some of its founding members and signature schools, such as Georgetown, St. John's and Villanova. The other departing schools are Seton Hall, Providence, DePaul and Marquette.

Big East football is in the midst of a major makeover, with 2013 scheduled to be another season with lame duck members.

Next year, Big East football will have holdovers Connecticut, Cincinnati, South Florida, Temple, Rutgers and Louisville, along with newcomers Central Florida, Memphis, Houston and SMU.

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