Big East Football Discussions: An Update - May 2011

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I wanted to share some new information with you about the status of Villanova’s potential transition to the Big East as a football member.

As I communicated last month, the Villanova Board of Trustees was poised to move forward with a decision at its April meeting when we learned that the Big East needed more time to conduct its due diligence. Since that time, we have been actively engaged with the Big East leadership on the football issue. In a recent letter received from Big East Commissioner John Marinatto, which he agreed that I could share, he stated the following:

Please know that the Big East Conference will continue to work closely with Villanova University as we pursue our ongoing goal of ensuring the Conference's long-term stability, strength and value through football expansion, which will require more time to finalize as we continue our evaluation of the evolving football and media landscapes. I appreciate the outstanding job Villanova has done in its FBS football evaluations over the last nine months and obviously Villanova University continues to be a strong member of the Conference and an attractive candidate for football membership. I am grateful for all the time, effort and energy that both you and Villanova have put into your thorough assessment and presentations, Father, and I appreciate and understand your concerns and personally pledge to continue to work diligently with you and your team as we move forward.

I am proud of Villanova and the way that our University undertook exploring this move to Big East football. We approached it seriously and with a process that was thoughtful, diligent, inclusive and research-based. I continue to be confident of the value Villanova brings to the Big East. Our teams have won 72 Big East Conference titles, and we lead the Big East with 19 NCAA Team Champions and 114 NCAA Individual Champions. Villanova has an undeniable history of academic and athletic excellence, which is nationally recognized.

I know that many of you may be frustrated with the Big East’s timeline – I share your feelings. However, we must remember that the true mandate for Villanova is the successful implementation of our University’s Strategic Plan.

I’ve communicated to you my excitement and commitment to the bold vision for Villanova’s future as outlined in our Strategic Plan, and I can guarantee you that there will be no delay in accomplishing our goals. The powerful momentum propelling the Strategic Plan forward is already visible. Here on campus, many initiatives are underway, including improvements to campus infrastructure, academic and curricular enhancements, and significant investments to further bolster our prestige with future students. In these areas, Villanova will determine its own destiny.

As information regarding the Big East becomes available, I will share it with you. Moving forward, I am committed to strengthening our impressive tradition and ensuring that it thrives to benefit Villanovans for generations to come. This will be our shared legacy.


Fr. Peter Donohue, O.S.A.