Seven schools including Marquette considers leaving Big East Conference

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by Chris Patterson

NEW YORK -- Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco is working with the officials from the conference's seven non-football members to keep the rebuilding league from splitting apart. According to a CBSsports.com blog, the schools considering leaving the Big East are Marquette, DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova.

A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Aresco and officials from those seven Catholic schools held a conference call Thursday to discuss the future of the league. Those schools are considering breaking away from the rest of the transitioning league.

Such a break could kill the Big East, but it would most likely not end easily.

The current Big East football membership includes only four schools -- South Florida, Connecticut, Cincinnati and Temple -- that are committed to the league beyond 2013. But there are 11 schools with plans to join the Big East in the next three years.

The Associate Press contributed to this report.

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