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The Big East Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that competes in NCAA Division I in all sports except football, which is not sponsored. The conference has been officially recognized as a Division I multi-sport conference, effective on August 1, 2013. The conference was originally founded by Dave Gavitt on May 31, 1979. Its nucleus is composed of the "Catholic Seven" members of the original Big East Conference: DePaul University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, Providence College, Seton Hall University, St. John's University, and Villanova University. In December 2012, these schools chose to split from the football playing schools in order to focus on basketball, and in March 2013 reached a settlement, whereby they acquired the Big East Conference name, logos, history, and the rights to the men's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden.