As for the departing seven, there has already been speculation they will try to align with other Catholic schools that have strong basketball programs, such as Xavier, Dayton, Creighton or even Gonzaga, which is located in Spokane, Wash.
"There's no target number (of members)," Reed said. "I think it would be safe to say that at the right time, at the proper time, that those things will be discussed and dealt with."
As for the schools such as Cincinnati and Connecticut, which has been trying to get out of the Big East but have nowhere to go, they are trying to stay positive.
"We will work diligently to position (Cincinnati) in the most favorable light moving forward," Cincinnati AD Whit Babcock said. "We will continue to compete and win."
Aresco was hired during the summer after a long career as a television executive, and given the task of trying to bring stability to the Big East and help negotiate a new lucrative television contract that could keep the league viable in the long run.
Since being hired, 10 more schools have announced they are leaving the conference and television negotiations had to be put on hold after Louisville and Rutgers said they were leaving.
The Big East moved quickly to replace Rutgers and Louisville with Tulane (all sports) and East Carolina (football only), starting in 2014. The latest moves seem to have been the last straw for the basketball schools.
"We believe at St. John's it is important we shape our future rather than have it happen to us," Harrington said. "We believe we will be in a stronger position to compete and that's so important for ours student-athletes and the institution."
AP College Basketball Writer Jim O'Connell in New York, AP Sports Writer Joseph White in Washington and AP freelance writer Dave Boehler in Milwaukee contributed to this report.
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