Marquette drops ties to Big East conference

CREATED Dec 15, 2012

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  • A Big East Conference logo is displayed on the court after Georgetown played Western Carolina in an NCAA college basketball game at the Verizon Center in Washington, on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. The seven Big East schools that don't play FBS football have decided to leave the conference and pursue a new basketball framework. The seven schools are: Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Image by The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -  Marquette is among seven schools that has informed the BIG EAST of its intent to end its association with the league.  Athletic Director Larry Williams says that while the big east was a great home for Marquette for many years, they are excited to begin a new chapter.

Seven schools, including DePaul University, passed an official vote Saturday morning to leave Big East, six days after the schools met with Big East commissioner Mike Aresco in New York to make known their concerns about the direction the conference was headed.

In a joint statement Saturday, the university presidents said the shifting emphasis toward football interests framed their decision.

In a statement from Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president of Marquette University:

      "Together we (the seven schools withdrawing from the conference) will explore our options to develop a premier athletics conference centered on elite-level basketball.  This move will allow us to enhance the elite status of our men's basketball program, while developing new opportunities for student athletes in all 16 of our competitive athletic programs," said Pilarz.
The seven schools include DePaul, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John's, Villanova and Providence.

The statement gave no timetable on exit plans or details of a name for the league or how many members it may eventually contain.