The seven Catholic non-football schools unanimously voted to officially disengage from the Big East conference today. The move was just a matter of time as far as conference commissioner Michael Aresco was concerned. It was reported earlier in the week, that he had already spoken to the remaining schools in the Big East about the looming decision and the plan for the future.
The exit of DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, and Villanova from the conference, along with the upcoming departures of Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Syracuse leaves only three remaining basketball schools to carry the Big East into the future. Those schools include, founding member Connecticut, South Florida, and Cincinnati.
Though the football side of the conference will feature 12 teams in the 2013 season, they too are set to lose two of those teams by the kick off of the 2014 college football season.
Aresco put out a statement to the Big East presidents saying,
“The basketball institutions have notified us that they plan to withdraw from the Big East Conference. The membership recognizes their contributions over the long distinguished history of the Big East. The 13 members of the Conference are confident and united regarding our collective future. We have a strong Conference with respected national universities, and are working together to forge the future. We have a variety of options, and are looking forward with great partnership, collegiality and optimism.”
The good news in the departure is that it appears the seven schools have opted to just end their membership with the Big East instead of dissolving the conference. This is welcome news to the remaining and incoming schools moving forward. However, many must be wondering where the Big East will be in the next few years.