Too early to talk Gonzaga joining the 'Catholic 7'

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

After seven basketball schools announced their departure from the Big East, the Gonzaga Bulldogs became a natural rumor about a possible fit with the so called 'Catholic 7'.

It didn't take long for the rumors to start swirling about the Gonzaga Bulldogs leaving the WCC conference after the so called "Catholic 7" announced their intent to depart the Big East and start their own conference.

Earlier last week, Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall and Depaul announced they would depart from the Big East and form a basketball oriented conference. Naturally, due to the Catholic connections of each school, Gonzaga was one of the first schools bandied about as a possible recruit.

But as Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth told Jim Meehan of the Spokesman Review, it is way too early to begin even talking about the discussion of departing the WCC.

"It's way too early to classify any of this. We can't have any interest unless they tell us they're interested in us. Again, we're 2,500 miles away, it's a long way. I believe those seven schools have a tremendous amount of things to work out before it impacts any school, let alone Gonzaga."

Gonzaga coach Mark Few echoed Roth's statement to a certain degree, saying all the right things while mentioning how the Bulldogs are content with the WCC.

"We're happy with where we're at but we're going to continue to monitor everything that's going on," Few said. "We've built ourselves into a national program and we're going to do what's best for Gonzaga. Because of our success, we've put ourselves into a position where we're attractive to other entities out there."

Although the storied history of each of the schools makes playing in whatever conference they form an attractive option, the brutal travel schedule during the conference play would make even Mark Few's standard non-conference travel arrangements blush. Also, the WCC is a conference that is slowly, finally on the upswing. The consistent emergence of Saint Mary's, and the addition of BYU, have turned the WCC into a multi-bid conference for the past few years come Selection Sunday.

Also, 17 of Gonzaga's regular season games appear nationally televised across the ESPN networks already. The new group of Catholic schools would need to embark upon and secure the rights to a new television deal.

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