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Bill Raftery leaves ESPN for Fox

Bill Raftery worked Big East games on ESPN for three decades, but with the new-look conference en route to Fox next season he had to choose one or the other. Thursday, we learned which. Fox is close to signing Raftery to join the new network and be paired with Gus Johnson on college basketball telecasts for Fox Sports 1 this autumn.

As part of the deal, Raftery will continue to work NCAA Tournament games on CBS.

“I’ve been associated with the Big East Conference since it began, and I feel the same excitement and anticipation now as I did way back then as the conference is re-born with Fox Sports,” said Raftery, the coach at Seton Hall when the Big East was founded in 1979.

ESPN said in a statement it wishes Raftery well and understands his desire to stay “with the core group of schools that he’s been part of for 30 plus years.’’

New York Sports