NCAA DI Board Recognizes Revamped Big East Conference

On Thursday, the Division I Board of Directors officially recognized the revamped Big East Conference as a Division I multi-sport conference.  The “new” ten-team conference consisting of Butler University, Creighton University, Xavier University, and the “Catholic 7” will be in effect on August 1.

The split of the “old” sixteen-school Big East occurred earlier this spring following a tumultuous period of conference realignment, with schools and regions banding together to create media strongholds to drive more television revenue from major college sporting events.  With a number of “super conferences” emerging over the last couple years, the Big East has been in an awkward position, with half of its members being smaller, non-football schools.

Earlier this year, the “Catholic 7” won the rights to keep the Big East name, and maintained the ability to use Madison Square Garden for their annual basketball tournament, which historically has been among the most-watched in the country.  The conference will be able to grab a hefty sum for their television rights, with less monetary dilution due to having fewer members.

The Board also noted that on July 1, the current Big East Conference will change its name to the American Athletic Conference.  That conference will maintain its positions within the governance structure.  These schools will get the majority ($100 million) of the $110 million Big East reserve fund that has been collected primarily from exit fees paid by several recently-departed member institutions.

We saw some other conference movements this year, including Maryland and Rutgers joining the Big Ten, as well as Louisville and Notre Dame joining the ACC (Notre Dame will maintain its status as an “Independent” in football).

Members of the “new” Big East:

St. John’s
Seton Hall

Members of the American Athletic Conference:

Louisville (only 2013-14 season)
Rutgers (only 2013-14 season)
South Florida
Future members: East Carolina (2014), Tulane (2014), Tulsa (2014), Navy (2015, football only)

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7 years ago

The break up of the Big East is really a bummer for swimming. Villanova women will be all on their own at the top of in the “new” Big East although the rest of the conference will be fairly evenly matched. The American Athletic Conference will be pretty weak after Rutgers and Louisville leave next year with SMU on their own at the top. Such a shame to see great Big East rivalries–Louisville/Notre Dame (although that can be renewed in the ACC) and UConn/Villanova/Rutgers on the women’s side–gone. Best of luck to all of the teams in their new conferences.

Reply to  dmswim
7 years ago

Wouldn’t give the AAC (weird) to SMU just yet…the Houston women beat SMU at the Conference USA meet this year (Rice won the meet, Houston 2nd, SMU 3rd.)

7 years ago

What other changes will we see this upcoming 2013-2014 season?

George Mason heads to the A-10. Old Dominion to Conference USA.

Any DII or DIII changes?

7 years ago

what conference will Rutgers be going to after 2014?

Reply to  Jamie
7 years ago

Big Ten

About Morgan Priestley

Morgan Priestley

A Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the mid-distance freestyles. While …

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