Seton Hall and other Catholic schools to leave Big East

The seven Catholic schools that make up the Big East have made it official that they are leaving the conference in a statement released Saturday.

Seton Hall, Georgetown, Providence, Marquette, DePaul, St. John’s and Villanova voted unanimously to cut ties from the league.

The statement read, “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.”

The statement also noted that the schools are “grateful” to current Big East Commissioner Michael Aresco and that they had felt the conference was too focused on creating a nation football conference.

Seton Hall, Georgetown, Providence and St. John’s were all founding members of the seven team Big East in 1979 while Villanova joined a year later. DePaul and Marquette were added in 2005 when the conference first went through realignment.

“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,” the statement said.

At this time there is no actual word of what these seven schools are going to do but multiple reports have stated that they will try to lure other top basketball only schools. Butler, Xavier, Creighton, Dayton and Gonzaga have been mentioned as likely schools that will be targeted.

Stephen Valenti can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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