The rumored breakup of the Big East Conference is now official, as the so-called "Catholic 7" have informed Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco that they intend to leave the conference. The full statement of the announcement is below:
"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."
Though there has not yet been any official word of which teams will join Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, St. John's, Providence, DePaul and Seton Hall, there have been a number of rumors surrounding Xavier, Butler, Creighton, St. Louis, Dayton and even Gonzaga and St. Mary's.
The Big East as we have come to know it is over.