East Carolina, Tulane to join Big East Conference in 2014

By Kevin Kelley -

Big EastThe East Carolina Pirates and the Tulane Green Wave will join the Big East Conference in 2014, it was announced today.

East Carolina will join the Big East in football only. The Pirates, members of Conference USA since 1997, announced their decision at a news conference this evening.

“ECU is excited to become a football member of the BIG EAST Conference,” ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard said. “We know we will be successful and add value to the BIG EAST. While hundreds of dedicated Pirates have contributed to this day, I especially want to recognize the relentless energy of Terry Holland and Nick Floyd in making this day a reality. It is a great day to be a Pirate.”

“We are very excited to welcome East Carolina University into the BIG EAST Conference for football,” BIG EAST Commissioner Mike Aresco said. “They have a strong football tradition and a consistently successful program that will help elevate our football league immediately. The University is an outstanding academic institution that reflects the values important to the BIG EAST Conference.”

Tulane’s entry into the Big East is already official. The Green Wave announced earlier today that they have accepted the invitation to join the conference.

“Tulane University is pleased to accept membership in the BIG EAST Conference,” Tulane President Scott Cowen said. “The BIG EAST is a distinguished collection of institutions that will be a wonderful home for Tulane. We look forward to our mutual association and we are delighted to welcome the BIG EAST to the Big Easy!”

“Tulane University is an outstanding addition to the BIG EAST Conference and we are very excited to have them as a full member,” Big East Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said. “They will make great contributions. Tulane has a superior academic reputation and they are committed to excellence in athletics. They are a great fit for the BIG EAST.”

The Green Wave have been a member of Conference USA since 1996. They will move all sports to the Big East for the 2014-15 academic season.

The addition of East Carolina and Tulane will give the Big East 13 football members for the 2014 season: Boise State, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU, Temple, Tulane, UCF and USF.

Tulane replaces Rutgers, who is joining the Big Ten in 2014. East Carolina is expected to replace either Louisville or UConn. One of those two is likely to leave the conference to join the ACC and replace Maryland, who also joins the Big Ten in 2014.

Navy is still set to join the Big East in football only in 2015. The conference is likely to add an additional member to even out at 14 football-playing schools.

Earlier this month, the Big East approved a two-division format for the 2013-14 season. That will likely change with the departure of Rutgers and expected departure of another school.

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11 Comments to East Carolina, Tulane to join Big East Conference in 2014

  1. Kro said....

    Has ECU announced where it will send its other sports? I hope it’s CAA, they need some new members and ECU has a decent basketball team.

    November 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm
    • PNB said....

      ECU has some very good programs but anything coached by Jeff Lebo can not be considered decent

      November 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm
    • Kevin Kelley said....

      There wasn’t anything about it in their release. Maybe they will stay in C-USA?

      November 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm
    • Bill said....

      Kevin

      today’s ECU web page said they are looking for a home in the 18 other sports. Check out the 3rd to last paragraph. Obviously theu intended to downplay the news that they are leaving CUSA. I agree with Kro that the Colonial is a good fit. My guess is that ECU would prefer the A-10 (who need to replace Charlotte and Temple), but would be content in the CAA. Conferences may be skeptical as I think their eventual goal is being in the Big east in all sports.

      “”It is our intention for today’s announcement to be a strong first step toward finding the best competitive environment possible for ECU’s nineteen varsity sports,” ECU Director of Athletics Terry Holland said. “BIG EAST Football provides an opportunity to renew old rivalries and begin new ones, both of which will be exciting for our players, coaches and fans. A football-only membership provided ECU’s gateway to an all sports membership in C-USA and a number of other successful programs, including Virginia Tech, received their opportunity through a football-only membership in the BIG EAST. ”

      http://www.ecupirates.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/112712aad.html

      November 28, 2012 at 7:16 am
  2. Tom Stein said....

    East Carolina in 2014 will become the first-ever Big East football team to have purple as its lead color. No Big East football team has ever had that color, although TCU was scheduled be first purple team in Big East history, before they changed their minds, and joined Big 12 instead.

    November 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm
  3. Darktick said....

    Well there goes Louisville from the big least. Can’t see how this conference thinks its going to survive

    November 28, 2012 at 11:57 am
  4. matt said....

    What should the basketball schools like Marquette do?

    November 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm
    • Bill said....

      The downside is if the basketball schools peel off and start a new league; they will have a tough time getting an automatic bid.

      Still I think a Catholic super-conference is a great idea. They can add some teams like St. Joseph’s, Xavier, Dayton, Detroit, Loyola, St. Louis, Butler and maybe even Creighton and have instant credibility from Day 1.

      I suggested this the other day. Someone other people suggested Creighton and St. Louis which I think are great fits.

      EAST
      Georgetown
      Villanova
      **St.Joseph’s
      Seton Hall
      St. John’s
      Providence

      WEST
      Marquette
      DePaul
      **Butler
      **Dayton
      **Xavier
      **Detroit (or perhaps Loyola)

      November 29, 2012 at 6:28 am
  5. Pete B. said....

    This is just as bad as the WAC adding Division II schools.

    November 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm
  6. Bill said....

    Pete—–Once the WAC adds them they are no longer D-2. If a team wants to upgrade, they need a conference invite. GCU is no worse than the bottom 50 to 100 teams in D-1 right now.

    The Atlantic Sun, Southland, and Summit also added D-2 teams. It is time to start thinking of the WAC as that level of “low major” conference. They are no longer a mid major.

    November 29, 2012 at 6:19 am

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