Big East's members that don't have FBS football programs have decided to split from the conference, a person familiar with the decision told the AP on Thursday.
No formal announcement has been made and the group of schools, which includes Georgetown, St. John's and Villanova, was still working on how best to go their own way. They have yet to officially inform the Big East leadership of their intentions.
Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco isn't expected to be involved in the conference call today.
The other non-football members of the Big East are DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence.
When the basketball schools do depart the ever-changing conference, there will be plenty of issues that need to be settled, including who owns the name Big East and how NCAA basketball tournament dollars and recent exit fees collected by the league will be distributed.
The Big East is still lined up to have a 12-team football conference next season with six new members joining, including Boise State and San Diego State for football only. Rutgers and Louisville, which have both announced their intentions to leave the Big East, are still expected to compete in the conference next year, as well.
The Big East currently holds an automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series, which is headed toward its final season in 2013. All the changes have caused speculation about whether the conference will retain that status next year.
BCS executive director Bill Hancock said in an email to the AP: "It is inappropriate to comment about a hypothetical matter. The Big East has an automatic berth by contract for next season."
MSU loses Lewis 8 weeks
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State's Wendell Lewis is expected to miss at least the next eight weeks because of a broken right kneecap.
The school says the 6-foot-9 senior from Selma, Ala., was hurt in a non-contact drill Wednesday and will have surgery on Monday. The injury is another blow to the already undermanned Bulldogs (3-5), who will have just six scholarship players when they face Loyola of Chicago (6-3) today.
Lewis is averaging 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He was coming off the best two-game stretch of his career, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a loss to Providence before scoring a career-high 20 points in a win over Texas-San Antonio.
Northwestern loses forward
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern forward Drew Crawford has a torn labrum in his right shoulder and will have season-ending surgery, a major blow for the Wildcats.
The senior is eligible to seek a medical hardship waiver.
In a statement released Friday, coach Bill Carmody says Crawford aggravated a previous injury in September and tried to play through it. The shoulder didn't respond the way they hoped, so he's having surgery.
Carmody says "while it obviously hurts to lose a player of Drew's caliber, it provides an opportunity for his teammates to step up and contribute."
Crawford has started all 10 games and is the Wildcats' second-leading scorer, averaging 13.5 points. He ranks 10th in school history with 1,418 career points.
Northwestern (7-3) hosts Texas State on Monday.
Everett CC women 66, Chemeketa CC 56
DES MOINES -- Edmonds-Woodway High alum Ashley Albertson had 12 points and 23 rebounds for Everett (5-3) in the first-round game of the NWAACC Crossover Tournament at Highline Community College. Erin Seeney (Jackson) scored 21 points and Alex Kenney (Edmonds-Woodway) had 14. The Trojans play Walla Walla CC today in the semifinals at 5 p.m.
Everett CC men 97, Wenatchee Valley CC 85
AUBURN -- David Ware had 22 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Trojans in the first round of the Green River Community College Crossover Tournament. Flynn Mattson, an Everett High alum, had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Everett plays Green River CC at 7 p.m. today in the second round of the tournament.
Pepperdine 70, Seattle U women 64
MALIBU, Calif. -- Kacie Sowell scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Ashley Ward added 14 points and Sylvia Shephard scored 13 for the Redhawks. SU's Brenda Adhiambo grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
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