(CBS) The Big East and the so-called “Catholic 7″, which includes DePaul, officially announced their much-anticipated split Friday, which will become effective July 1.
The separation will allow the seven non-football schools to form a new conference and it is expected that the new conference will retain the Big East name and have the opportunity to play its league tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.
“I am pleased that this agreement has been reached,” Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “With the long-term well-being of our outstanding institutions and their student-athletes of paramount importance, each group worked through a number of complex issues in an orderly, comprehensive and amicable manner marked by mutual respect. We part ways as friends and colleagues and look forward to the success of both conferences.”
The announcement means DePaul will be playing in a new conference next season, even if it retains the same name.
“DePaul University is grateful to Commissioner Aresco and our Big East colleagues for the collegial discussions that have allowed us to leave in 2013 and begin our new league,” DePaul President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider said. “We are excited about the opportunities this endeavor will afford our student-athletes, coaches and fans. We wish the ongoing football members the very best as they establish their footprint in the college football landscape.”
The agreement is still subject to a formal Board approval, but the announcement indicates that the two separate leagues will continue to cooperate and look at playing opportunities between the conferences.
Meanwhile, the football schools are reportedly expected to receive about $100 million from a $110 million reserve the Big East currently has built up.