December 15, 2012
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Villanova is embarking on a new and exciting
course for its athletic programs—one
that seizes control of our future, while
building on the traditions, values and rivalries
that energize our teams and fans.
Last week, I and the Presidents from Georgetown,
Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, DePaul and
Marquette, spoke with the Big East Commissioner
about the future of the conference. We informed
him that our schools are actively exploring
avenues through which we can best support our
interests and ensure our national prominence.
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. This is a
group of like-minded schools with excellent
academics, great athletic histories and
traditions, national caliber basketball
programs, and passionate fan bases in major
As members of the Villanova community and fans
of Villanova athletics, I want to assure you
that this was a thoughtful and strategic
decision. We have the necessary resources to
support all our athletic programs, and we are
confident and excited about this
direction—especially as we know there will
always be an appetite for elite basketball.
Villanova, and this new basketball framework, is
well positioned to capitalize on that hunger.
Villanova offers top tier basketball in the
fourth largest media market in the country, and
together with our fellow Big East basketball
institutions, we account for four of the top
five media markets. Collectively, these seven
schools can claim three men’s basketball
national championships and 18 Final Four
appearances. Villanova teams alone boast 82
conference championships and 19 NCAA team
championships. I am confident that Villanova’s
athletic programs—men’s basketball and
beyond—will continue to compete at the highest
This is not a move that will be made overnight.
This will be a strategic evolution into a new
framework, involving a period of transition to
address issues of structure, membership and
media partnerships. Villanova is working closely
with these like-minded institutions to protect
and advance our common interests at all levels.
I strongly believe this is the best course for
Villanova, our student-athletes, and our alumni
Together, these institutions 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.
At Villanova, we are looking to protect our
University and promote it—to ensure that
Villanova is a nationally recognized institution
that lives by its values, and seeks to educate
all its students to think critically, act
compassionately and succeed while serving
others. This decision is about controlling our
future, strategically positioning the university
for future growth, and securing an environment
in which Villanova can thrive.
This is the right decision for Villanova. Vince
Nicastro, Villanova’s athletic director, and I
have worked closely with our board, University
leadership and coaches, and I know that we are
all eager for this new chapter in Villanova’s
history. I look forward to keeping you updated
as we move forward.
Fr. Peter Donohue, O.S.A.