Tulane University has accepted an invitation to join the BIG EAST Conference in all sports, beginning in the 2014-15 season, President Scott Cowen and Big East Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco announced Tuesday.
“Tulane University is an outstanding addition to the BIG EAST Conference and we are very excited to have them as a full member,” 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.”
“Tulane University is pleased to accept membership in the BIG EAST Conference,” 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!”
In moving to the Big East, the university joins one of the conferences whose champion automatically qualifies for the soon-to-be replaced Bowl Championship Series. Big East members include Louisville, Connecticut and Cincinnati.
Other schools, like basketball powers Georgetown and Marquette, compete in the Big East but do not field football programs.
The conference has gone through membership upheaval in recent years, and just this month learned it will lose Rutgers University to the Big Ten in the near future.
The announcement of the new affiliation comes at a time when Tulane is preparing to build an on-campus football stadium. Construction is to begin in early 2013..