Statements from Susan Herbst, Warde Manuel, Mike Aresco
UConn President Susan Herbst:
"I know this may seem like a tough moment for our fans, but we need to focus on the fundamentals of academic success across the university and in our athletic program as well. We are winners -- we win, we like to win and we will continue to play the best possible opponents. We will be athletically successful, regardless of our conference, because of our successes in NCAA competition. We will keep building our winning record through the lens of a great university, that focuses on academics, not on the fluid and unpredictable nature of conference realignment. Again, I realize this is a difficult day, but when we focus on research, discovery, and student success, we'll never go wrong."
UConn Director of Athletics Warde Manuel:
“Conference realignment is a prominent national issue in collegiate athletics and will continue to be so into the future. UConn has established a rich history as a very successful academic and athletic institution. We understand that because of that UConn will continue to be brought up in the discussion regarding potential schools considered in realignment.
“We have and will continue to monitor the situation regarding conference realignment and work to ensure that UConn is in the best position for the continued success of our athletic programs. We are proud of the success of our coaches and student-athletes and the tradition that has been established of winning conference and national championships.
“We are proud and appreciative of our great Husky fan base. Husky Nation is strong all over the country and the world. UConn has one of the most captive audiences of any school in the country and we have strong penetration in several of the nation’s largest television markets.”
The UConn men’s basketball program has won three national championships since 1999 – the only school to do so in this time period – and one of just seven programs in the history of the game to win three or more titles.
The UConn football team has made incredible strides since it moved to the FBS in 2002. The Huskies have won two BIG EAST Championships, played in five bowl games – including four over the past five seasons -- and became the fastest program to rise from FBS inception to an appearance in a BCS game in history.
The excellence of the women’s basketball program is unparalleled to any school in the country as UConn has won seven national championships and appeared in 13 Finals Fours, including five straight.
Olympics sports programs at UConn are successful and have competed in and won NCAA national championship play in a number of them.
UConn will further enhance its athletic program in the 2013-14 academic year as its men’s ice hockey team begins play in Hockey East, the premier league in the country for that sport. Connecticut will become one of just nine institutions nationally to play men’s basketball, women’s basketball, football and men’s ice hockey in a major conference. Mike Aresco: We enjoyed having Louisville in the Big East Conference and we wish them well.
The Big East has anticipated the continuing realignment that is reshaping college athletics and has already made important additions as part of our vision for the future. We will continue moving forward to fulfill that vision, which includes a strong national football conference and a strong and storied basketball conference. Big East teams will continue to compete and succeed at the highest level and, as always, will combine athletic and academic excellence. With schools stretching from coast to coast and in many of the top U.S. media markets, the Big East has become a truly national conference with outstanding young men and women competing across a full range of sports.
We are committed to a vibrant and dynamic future for the Big East Conference.