SYRACUSE, NY—In a hastily delivered statement from the passenger side of the young woman’s lime-green Hyundai Tiburon, Syracuse University announced Sunday it was leaving the Big East, the conference it helped create more than 30 years ago, for a 23-year-old exotic dancer and vodka brand ambassador named “Misti.” “We’ve had a nice run with the Big East, but we think Misti has more to offer us,” said Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross, crediting the woman for bringing a “renewed sense of purpose” to the 141-year-old research institution. “We have had some good times—great times, actually, really great—with the Big East, and we hope we can continue to maintain a friendly relationship, but we think it’s time for us to pursue other options.” Gross quickly added that the young woman is “really smart” and wants to go to school to become a dental hygienist, which is perfect, because they are a school.