Big East, Catholic schools announce separation

Big East, Catholic schools announce separation
March 8, 2013, 11:30 am
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CSN Staff

Afters weeks of discussion, a decision has been reached: The Big East Conference and Catholic schools will split.

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco announced on Friday that an agreement has been made to separate from DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova. Their move will become effective on July 1.

“I am pleased that this agreement has been reached,” said Aresco. “With the long-term well-being of our outstanding institutions and their student-athletes of paramount importance, each group worked through a number of complex issues in an orderly, comprehensive and amicable manner marked by mutual respect.  We part ways as friends and colleagues and look forward to the success of both conferences.”

The Catholic universities will create their own conference once formal Board approval goes through.

The presidents of the seven schools also released a statement Friday morning, thanking the Big East Conference for this new opporunity:

“We are grateful to Commissioner Michael Aresco for spearheading an agreement that truly represents the best path forward for each of our great institutions and the thousands of student-athletes who compete for our schools annually. It is a great credit to Mike, our colleagues, and all involved that we were able to work through a host of highly complex and time-sensitive issues in such a short period of time.  We are pleased that we reached this amicable and mutually-beneficial separation by approaching each issue with a spirit of cooperation and shared respect.”

DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto and head coach Oliver Purnell will address the change further this afternoon. Check back to for all the details.