Dec. 15, 2012
Statement from the presidents of the seven basketball member schools of the Big East conference:
Earlier today we voted unanimously to pursue an orderly evolution to a foundation of basketball schools that honors the history and tradition on which the Big East was established. Under the current context of conference realignment, we believe pursuing a new basketball framework that builds on this tradition of excellence and competition is the best way forward.
We are grateful to our Commissioner, Michael Aresco, for his exceptional leadership of the Big East Conference. We have been honored to be associated with the outstanding group of institutions that have made up the Big East. While we pursue this opportunity for our institutions, we believe the efforts of the past two years have established the foundation for an enduring national football conference.
We look forward to building this new foundation with an emphasis on elite competition and a commitment to the development of our students engaged in intercollegiate athletics. That is where we will now spend our energy as we move forward.
Statement from Villanova Director of Athletics Vince Nicastro:
"We have enjoyed our association with the various member institutions that have been part of the Big East for over 30 years. That association has served us well.
"This is truly a unique period in intercollegiate athletics and it has presented us with an incredible opportunity moving forward to build upon our collective prominence. The seven institutions serving as the foundation of this new framework offer some of the richest traditions in all of college sports, outstanding academic reputations, large and loyal fan-bases, and are located in some of the best markets in the nation. We are energized by the decision to build on this strong foundation of programs and move toward the future in a focused and optimistic way."
Statement from Villanova Head Men's Basketball Coach Jay Wright:
"The opportunity for Villanova to work with these six schools on a new basketball framework that builds on the great basketball tradition established by the Big East is exciting. There is obviously a lot of change taking place in college athletics right now, and we are looking forward to a great future with these partners."