Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw on Thursday night denied reports that the Big East's seven Catholic basketball schools are leaving this summer and taking the Big East name with them.
A source had previously confirmed to CSNPhilly.com contributor Michael Bradley that the Catholic 7's new conference would start next season and indeed be called the Big East, as earlier reported by ESPN.com.
When asked to respond, Bradshaw said he had "no comment" because "no decisions have been made." He referred to Thursday's multiple reports as "rumors" and said he had "no idea where [they] came from."
Villanova, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, DePaul, Seton Hall and St. John's will be joined in the new league by Xavier and Butler in 2013-14 and Saint Louis and Dayton in 2014-15, according to the source.
According to ESPN.com's report, the league's formation is being expedited by FOX Sports Network, which is expected to announce the conference as part of its FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 channels. The deal is expected to pay each school $3 million per year. It remains unknown how much it will cost to retain the Big East name. The Big East's presidents and athletic directors are expected to meet Friday morning to vote on their own media-rights offer from ESPN.
If the Catholic 7 were to leave prior to next season, it would leave the Big East with just 11 teams playing basketball in 2013-14. Three of those 11 -- Louisville, Notre Dame and Rutgers -- are already in the process of extricating themselves from the conference to join the ACC (Louisville, Notre Dame) and Big Ten (Rutgers).
CSNPhilly.com's Nick Menta contributed to this story.
West Chester University baseball is moving on to the 2017 NCAA National Championships.
The Golden Rams won the Division II Atlantic Regional Final on Monday with a 12-7 decision over Winston-Salem State at Russell Diethrick Park.
Sophomore first baseman Jared Melone reached base six times, going 5 for 5 with a walk and four RBIs, while shortstop Nick Ward scored four runs and collected three hits to help West Chester capture its fourth regional title in program history.
Senior right-hander Josh McClain picked up the win in relief with three innings of one-run ball, as the Golden Rams scored five in the eighth inning to win their first regional crown since 2012, the year they won the national championship.
West Chester is now 40-11 overall and will open national championship tournament play on Saturday at 3 p.m. against North Georgia in Grand Prairie, Texas.
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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas basketball coach Shaka Smart has won the recruiting sweepstakes for highly-ranked forward Mohamed Bamba.
The 6-foot-11 Bamba signed with the Longhorns on Thursday, picking Texas over Duke, Kentucky, Michigan and Harvard. Bamba is ranked by national recruiting services as one of the top players in the country and already projected by some as an early 2018 NBA draft pick.
Signing Bamba is a huge boost for Smart after a 22-loss season, Texas' worst in more than 30 years. Freshman center Jarrett Allen has entered this year's NBA draft and freshman guard Andrew Jones is still considering whether to return to Texas.
Bamba average 12.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks as a high school senior in Westtown, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, and was a McDonald's All-American.