Reports: Catholic 7 to keep Big East name

NEW ORLEANS — It looks like the Big East won’t find a home in the Big Easy after all.

The seven basketball schools which defected the league to start one of its own — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova — will be taking the Big East name with it, according to reports by ESPN.

It leaves Tulane and its new conference mates stuck in a nameless league, at least for now. The Green Wave is still scheduled to leave Conference USA in 2014 and join Connecticut, Cincinnati, South Florida, Houston, SMU, Central Florida, East Carolina and Memphis (with Navy joining in 2015) in all sports.

It will be the school’s first change in conference affiliation since becoming a charter member of C-USA in 1996. But it can stash the Big East banner, proudly unfurled at a news conference Nov. 27 by Tulane president Scott Cowen and athletic director Rick Dickson, out of sight. Tulane declined to comment on the ongoing situation.

Cowen and his fellow conference presidents are expected to meet in Atlanta at 11 a.m. Friday to discuss a variety of topics, including the ongoing media rights negotiations. In January, commissioner Mike Aresco said he hoped the new version of the Big East would be able to retain its name and rebuild the league’s brand.

It’s just the latest newsworthy event around the league, which has seen the defection of not only those seven basketball schools but also traditional athletic powers Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Notre Dame over the past two years.