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Catholic 7 release statement announcing departure from Big East

Dec 15, 2012, 2:25 PM EDT

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It’s official.

The Catholic 7 are leaving the Big East.

The presidents of the seven universities — Georgetown, Seton Hall, Providence, St. John’s, Marquette, Villanova and DePaul — released a statement on Saturday afternoon saying as much.

Here is that statement in its entirety:

“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.”

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