From the press release:
Statement from the presidents of the seven basketball member schools of the Big East conference
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.
Also, the Providence Athletic Department released the following:
PROVIDENCE COLLEGE MOVES TO SOLIDIFY ITS ATHLETICS FUTURE
PROVIDENCE, R.I., DECEMBER 15, 2012: – As was announced earlier today, Providence College is one of the seven basketball schools in the BIG EAST Conference which voted to pursue an orderly evolution to a foundation of basketball schools that honors the history and tradition on which the Big East was established.
“Providence College has enjoyed a proud tradition as a founding member of the BIG EAST Conference,” Providence College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. said. “I want all our donors, alumni, fans, students and especially our student-athletes to know that we have worked diligently to get to this point. We believe that today’s vote moves us further toward a solution that will put Providence College and the other six basketball institutions in a position for long-term success. We are working toward a model that is very similar to what BIG EAST founder Dave Gavitt first envisioned more than 30 years ago when he left Providence College – a conference comprised of basketball schools that would be branded and which would compete at the highest of levels in the national spotlight.”
“We are also working to provide Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ed Cooley with the resources he needs to compete and excel at this level. We have committed to Coach Cooley that we will extend his contract and we are working on the details of that at present,” Fr. Shanley said.
“This is a monumental day for Providence College and its Athletics Department,” Athletics Director Bob Driscoll stated. “We are taking the necessary steps to secure the future of our basketball programs and of our entire athletics department. We felt it was vital for us to strengthen our bond with the other six basketball institutions and to provide a long-term solution in an ever-changing conference landscape. Having Coach Cooley lead our men’s basketball program for the long-term and ensuring that he has the necessary resources to compete on a national level are key components for a strong and vibrant future for our athletics department.”
“I am very excited about the direction of our men’s basketball program,” Cooley stated. “I want to thank Fr. Shanley and Bob Driscoll as they are working extremely hard to position us and to put the pieces in place that will allow us to continue to build Providence College men’s basketball so that we can compete and win at the highest echelons of the sport. Providence is my home and it is where I want to be. We still have work ahead of us in our quest, but today marks another big step towards our goal.”