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The Post  
Villanova Leaving Big East; DiPietro Sister Denies Mob Ties; Flyers Fan Sentenced For Beating
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 12/15/12 10:41 pm | updated: 12/15/12 10:41 pm
Seven Big East Conference schools that don't play FBS football are leaving to create their own conference focused on basketball. The seven basketball schools leaving are: Villanova, Georgetown, St. John's, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence. The presidents of those schools released this statement: "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," the statement said. "Under the 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." There is no exact time frame as to when these seven schools will leave but it is expected in 2015. There is talk of extending invitations to schools like Gonzaga, St. Mary's, Xavier, Dayton, or Creighton.

Villanova is the only local school that will be affected. Statement from Villanova Director of Athletics Vince Nicastro:

"We have enjoyed our association with the various member institutions that have been part of the Big East for over 30 years. That association has served us well.

"This is truly a unique period in intercollegiate athletics and it has presented us with an incredible opportunity moving forward to build upon our collective prominence. The seven institutions serving as the foundation of this new framework offer some of the richest traditions in all of college sports, outstanding academic reputations, large and loyal fan-bases, and are located in some of the best markets in the nation. We are energized by the decision to build on this strong foundation of programs and move toward the future in a focused and optimistic way."

Statement from Villanova Head Men's Basketball Coach Jay Wright:

"The opportunity for Villanova to work with these six schools on a new basketball framework that builds on the great basketball tradition established by the Big East is exciting. There is obviously a lot of change taking place in college athletics right now, and we are looking forward to a great future with these partners."

Gino DiPietro, 50, was murdered in South Philly, shot just outside his home on Wednesday. The suspect in that murder is a reputed mob soldier Anthony Nicodemo, 41, who has been arrested and charged. Nicodemo is thought to work for the Ligami crime family. Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi is currently on trial with other defendants for racketeering. DiPietro's name had been mentioned in testimony during the trial. This all led to the rumor mills swirling, says his DiPietro's sister Linda Shattuck. She acknowledges that he was a drug dealer in the past, made lots of money, and served his time, but that he lives a normal life now. She says,"My brother had nothing to do with the mob.” and "he didn't rat on anyone.”

The Flyers fan who attacked a Rangers fan outside Geno's Steaks following the Flyers-New York Rangers Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park last January 2nd was sentenced to 11 1/2to 23 months of house arrest and 5 years probation on Friday. Dennis Veteri, 33, of South Jersey was caught on cell phone video beating Neal Auricchio, 31, an off-duty Woodbridge, N.J. Cop. That video went viral. Auricchio suffered a broken eye socket bones and lacerations that kept him out of work for two months. Assistant District Attorney Francis McCloskey was seeking 1 1/2to 4 years in prison while Veteri's Defense Attorney sought house arrest. Veteri will be outfitted with an ankle monitor and will only be allowed to leave home for work or to attend drug and alcohol treatment classes.

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