Villanova's President, Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA has issued the following statement on the Catholic 7 schools of Villanova, Georgetown. Marquette, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall, and DePaul.
Dear Alumni, Parents and Friends:
In December, I wrote to inform you that Villanova University was setting a new and exciting course for our athletic programs. Villanova, along with six of our partners from the Big East Conference, joined together to form a new athletic framework--one based on the common values and history of our universities.
Since then, I have been working closely with my fellow presidents at DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall and St. John's to build our new conference, and we have recently concluded a productive negotiation with the football members of the league. While you probably have heard many rumors and reports in the news over the past several weeks, our separation agreement is only official as of this morning, when it was formally approved by all the Big East Conference presidents.
I am excited to announce to all of you that the Big East name will stay with our seven schools. Retaining this asset was very important for our group as it allows us to carry on the best of the Big East's traditions in our new conference. The seven basketball schools, which include many of the original founding schools of the Big East, have unanimously established the goal of continuing the storied legacy and time-honored traditions of athletic competition so closely associated with the Big East, including being the home of the very best college basketball in the nation.
With these negotiations complete, our seven schools will fully transition into our new conference for the 2013-2014 academic year. Over the next few months, we will continue to work closely together to develop the conference and create an athletic environment that generates excitement, competition and pride. Details about the expected broadcast media deal, season-ending tournament and additional members of the new conference will be announced in the near future.
This is truly a great time for Villanova, our teams, our student-athletes and all of you who support our programs. We knew when we made this decision it was the right thing to do: It allows us to control our future, position our programs to compete for conference and national championships, and further advance the goals of our University. Your commitment to Villanova has made this endeavor possible and your continued support will ensure its success.
Thank you for your loyalty to our great University. I hope to see many of you in New York City this week, and look forward to seeing you at Big East events for many years to come.