Notre Dame may consider joining the soon-to-be-formed Catholic 7 league for the next season, helping the Fighting Irish bridge a gap between the school’s departure from the Big East and arrival in the ACC.
The Catholic 7 was formed when the contingent of private, Catholic schools from the Big East announced that they were withdrawing the form their own league. The group includes DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, and Villanova, along with the expected additions of Atlantic 10 schools Butler and Xavier.
With the move essentially dissolving the Big East, Notre Dame was left with a decision about what league to join in 2013. Fighting Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the Catholic 7 could be a viable option for 2013 until Notre Dame joins the SEC in 2014.
“If the Catholic 7 is leaving and forming its own conference for next year, they could certainly call us to want to explore our options,” Swarbrick told ESPN. “And if they were interested in accommodating us, it would certainly be a viable option. We have a lot of respect for those schools and know them well.”
The move would come with complications when it comes to creating schedules, Swarbrick said.
“For some of the fall sports, there may be some impact on the preconference scheduling, so if you scheduled in anticipation of the Big East being as it currently is, you wouldn’t have scheduled any of the Catholic 7, right? They’re going to be conference opponents. Now, if they’re in their own conference, maybe you’d like to have them as a preseason or preconference season opponent. You’ve got to try to figure out how to do that. So you just deal with it.
“It’s not perfect, and that’s why it’s really not productive, as I told our people, to sort of engage in any of this hypothetically. Just wait. Got to sit by, wait and see what happens.”
If Notre Dame is added to the Catholic 7, it’s likely the league would not look to expand any more. CBS Sports reported that Catholic 7 officials are satisfied keeping the league at nine teams.