Following an Indianapolis Star report that Butler plans to leave the Horizon League for the new Big East Conference, Creighton’s home market Omaha World-Herald reported the same news Friday for the Bluejays’ athletic department.
A flurry of stories — from ESPN, CBS, the New York Times and more — have called for this round of realignment. Now that the hometown papers are willing to say it’s so, believe the news: Creighton is leaving the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Chicago Tribune, which reports on DePaul regularly, said Friday that each of Creighton, Butler and Xavier will join the league this fall and play the 2013-2014 season along with the so-called Catholic 7 schools that have split from football-playing BIg East members.
The new league will retain the Big East name and play its conference tournament in Madison Square Garden.
Creighton’s inclusion was reportedly debated by existing Catholic 7 members mainly due to geography. Omaha will be by far the western-most location in the new Big East, spiking travel costs and commitments for non-revenue sports.
Saint Louis and Dayton were also potential finalists to become the 10th member. Reports considered Butler and Xaver locks all along.
As for what’s next with the MVC, well, finding a 10th basketball-playing member for next season seems the top priority. When news became more and more imminent that Creighton would leave, a USA Today report last week threw out a few names for the Bluejays’ replacement: Belmont, Oral Roberts and Denver, among others.
From UE’s perspective, another private school would be most welcomed.
Creighton will not owe the MVC an exit fee, and the Bluejays are set to make as much as 10 times more television revenue per year from the BIg East’s deal with Fox Sports.