WASHINGTON (AP) - The seven Big East schools that don't play FBS football have decided to leave the conference and pursue a new basketball framework.
The presidents of the seven schools made the announcement Saturday, saying it was a unanimous vote.
The move leaves Connecticut, a founding member of the league in 1979, Cincinnati and South Florida - three current members with FBS football programs - up in the air concerning their futures.
The seven schools are: Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence.
The Big East is still lined up to have a 12-team football conference next season with six new members joining, including Boise State and San Diego State for football only. Rutgers and Louisville, which both announced intentions to leave the Big East, are still expected to compete in the conference next year.
UC's athletic director released the following statement:
"Conference realignment is a story that is still being told," said Babcock. "Like our fans, students, donors and alumni, I will be glad when all of this is over. I cannot tell you how, when or where it will end, but I can tell you that UC is positively committed to competing at the highest level. I do not know the time frame for the endgame of all of this. We will not have the answers overnight.
"But I do know this: now is not the time to stop moving forward or to simply give up. Last week we hired an outstanding football coach. Our men's basketball team is undefeated and highly ranked. We have had competitive success in a number of our other sports and the academic success of our University and our student-athletes has never been stronger.
"We've had other challenges in the past and have come out of those stronger than before. This situation will be no different. I should also add that President Ono and the University Trustees have been great partners every step of the way. We will work diligently to position UC in the most favorable light moving forward. We will continue to compete and win. We will continue to deliver on the student-athlete experience. The road may be bumpy along the way but we will survive and thrive. Now is not the time to panic, now is the time to lead."