Notre Dame wants to talk to Catholic 7

As negotiations between the Big East and breakaway Catholic 7 schools proceed, there already is talk of adding another famous catholic school to the newly forming league.

With the Catholic 7 -- Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova, Seton Hall, St. John's, DePaul and Providence -- moving faster toward a new league than what many thought, Notre Dame has expressed interest in joining the "new" Big East.

ESPN reported Thursday that Butler and Xavier would be added to the Catholic 7 immediately, with Creighton, Dayton and St. Louis coming behind them in 2014-15.

But on Friday, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he would welcome the opportunity to talk about the Irish being included in expansion talks -- even if only for one year.

"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 said. "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."

In February, Notre Dame said it would stay in the Big East for the 2013-14 school year before bolting for the ACC. But that was before the Catholic 7 stated its intent to start its own league reshaping what the current Big East will look like.

"Their goal, I know, is to get Xavier and Butler and maybe look for a 10th team," Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey said on his radio show on Thursday.

On Friday, Brey's boss said Notre Dame might not mind being that 10th team.

Meanwhile, Big East presidents and athletic directors -- minus the representatives from the Catholic 7 -- met Friday in Atlanta to discuss issues, including a financial settlement in which the Catholic 7 would take the Big East name. Also discussed was a departure date for the seven teams, which could be as early as this summer.

"We had some good conversations; didn't reach any conclusions and our negotiations with the other group on continuing. That's it," Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said. "We had great discussion on some other topics."