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Seven basketball schools leave Big East

Dec. 15, 2012 at 4:38 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 15 (UPI) -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova announced Saturday they are leaving the Big East Conference for basketball.

A statement issued by the schools' presidents said they have voted unanimously to bolt the Big East -- the latest of 17 institutions to leave the conference since 2004.

"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," 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 Big East had already lost West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville for football over the last 14 months.

Rutgers announced it would join the Big Ten, while Notre Dame -- a Big East member in all sports except football -- is also leaving to join the ACC.

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