Tulane and East Carolina (football only) will be joining the Big "East" in 2014.
As the once-proud conference starts to take on the look of Conference USA, it's truly time for UConn to look for greener pastures. Obviously, the ACC is the top choice, and by all accounts, it certainly could happen. But nothing's definite yet.
Here's what the Big East and commish Mike Aresco had to say about the addition of Tulane, which will certainly bolster the conference's standing in women's sand volleyball:
Commissioner Mike Aresco has announced the addition of Tulane University, one of
the most highly regarded and selective independent research institutions in the
United States that boasts one of the oldest and most storied athletics programs
in the Southeast, as a full conference member.
The BIG EAST Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote of
its Presidents, extended the invitation to Tulane, which will begin competing in
the BIG EAST in the 2014-15 academic year.
“I am pleased and excited to welcome Tulane University
to the BIG EAST Conference,” said Aresco. “Tulane University is an outstanding
academic institution and is committed to excellence in athletics. They will be
a valued member of the BIG EAST.”
Founded in 1834, Tulane is a member of the prestigious
Association of American Universities, an association of 62 leading research
universities in the United States and Canada. Located in New Orleans, Tulane
has an enrollment of 13,359. The university is ranked by the Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a university with “very high
“Tulane University is pleased to accept membership in
the BIG EAST Conference,” said President Scott Cowen. “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 sponsors 16 sports, 10 women’s teams and six
men’s teams. The women’s sports are basketball, tennis, indoor track and field,
outdoor track and field, cross country, golf, swimming and diving, bowling
volleyball and sand volleyball. The men’s sports are football, baseball,
basketball, tennis, outdoor track and field and cross
Tulane’s football team currently plays in the
Mercedez-Benz Superdome. The school is building a new football venue, Yulman
Stadium, which will have a capacity of 30,000. It is expected to be completed
in 2014. Tulane’s men’s and women’s basketball teams compete on campus at
Devlin Fieldhouse. A majority of BIG EAST games will be played at New Orleans
The football team is coached by Curtis Johnson, who is
in his first season. The men’s basketball program is led by coach Ed Conroy who
is in his third year. The Green Wave won 15 men’s basketball games last season
and are off to a 4-2 start this season.
Lisa Stockton is the head women’s basketball coach. She
is the winningest coach in Conference USA history with 372 victories. During
her tenure, the Green Wave have enjoyed a nine-year streak of NCAA Tournament
berths, four regular-season conference championships and five conference
The baseball program has earned five regular-season
conference championships, eight conference tournament crowns and has played in
the College World Series twice in the last 11 years. The men’s tennis program
has won eight national championships.
Over the last eight years, Green Wave student-athletes
have been among the highest achievers nationally in the classroom, according to
the most recent multi-year Academic Performance Rates (APR).
The BIG EAST has previously announced other new full
members that will be begin playing in 2013. Those schools are: University of
Central Florida, University of Houston, University of Memphis, and Southern
Methodist University and Temple University. Boise State University and San
Diego State University will compete only in football. The Naval Academy will
start BIG EAST football play in 2015.
And here's what the Big East has to say about East Carolina:
BIG EAST Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco has announced the addition of East
Carolina University, one of the nation’s emerging research institutions, as a
conference member that will compete in the BIG EAST in the sport of
The BIG EAST Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote of
its Presidents, extended the invitation to East Carolina. ECU will begin BIG
EAST football competition in the 2014 season.
“We are very excited to welcome East Carolina University
into the BIG EAST Conference for football,” said Aresco. “They have a strong
football tradition and a consistently successful program that will help elevate
our football league. The University is an outstanding academic institution that
reflects the values important to the BIG EAST Conference.”
“ECU is excited to become a football member of the BIG
EAST Conference,” said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. “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.”
Founded in 1907 in Greenville, N.C., East Carolina
University is a 105-year-old public university and research institution that is
nationally recognized for preparing rural family physicians, educational
professionals and for its strong performing arts programs.
It enrolls 27,500 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral
students and is North Carolina’s largest producer of education and primary care
professionals. It operates the Brody School of Medicine, a new school of Dental
Medicine and a growing undergraduate Honors College in
On the football field, East Carolina has been a
consistent winner. The Pirates went to five straight bowl games and won two
conference championships from 2006-10. Under third-year head coach Ruffin
McNeill, ECU has compiled an 8-4 regular-season record this season, which
included a 7-1 conference mark. The Pirates will be headed to their 18th bowl
The ECU football team plays in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
that has a capacity of 50,000. The team has averaged more than 47,000 fans per
game in each of the past three seasons.
The BIG EAST has previously announced new members that
will begin playing football in the 2013. Those schools are: Boise State
University, University of Central Florida, University of Houston, University of
Memphis, Southern Methodist University, San Diego State University. Tulane
University will begin play in 2014. The Naval Academy will start BIG EAST
football play in 2015.