Big East Conference

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St. John's University playing baseball against Georgetown University

The Big East Conference is a college sports conference in the United States which sponsors many sports, but does not play football. The league has its roots in the original Big East Conference, which was founded in 1979 as a basketball-focused league by a group of schools in the Eastern U.S. That league added football in 1991, leading to years of conflict between schools that played top-level football and those that did not. In July 2013, the original league split along football lines. The seven schools that did not play FBS (top-level) football—often called the "Catholic 7" because all are run by the Catholic Church—bought the "Big East" name and formed a new Big East. The FBS schools joined with several new members and stayed in the original Big East structure under the new name of American Athletic Conference (The American).

Although the current Big East was not founded until 2013, it claims the 1979 founding date of the original Big East. Both the current Big East and The American claim the pre-split history of the old Big East.

Members[change | change source]

All full members of the Big East are private schools. All are also Catholic except for Butler, which was started by Protestants but has never been run by any church.

School Location Founded Type
(affiliation)
Nickname Joined
Big East[a 1]
Butler University Indianapolis, Indiana 1855 Private (nonsectarian) Bulldogs 2013
Creighton University Omaha, Nebraska 1878 Private/Catholic
(Jesuit)
Bluejays 2013
DePaul University Chicago, Illinois 1898 Private/Catholic
(Vincentian)
Blue Demons 2005
Georgetown University Washington, D.C. 1789 Private/Catholic
(Jesuit)
Hoyas 1979
Marquette University Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1881 Private/Catholic
(Jesuit)
Golden Eagles 2005
Providence College Providence, Rhode Island 1917 Private/Catholic
(Dominican)
Friars 1979
Saint John'sSt. John's University New York City, New York 1870 Private/Catholic
(Vincentian)
Red Storm 1979
Seton Hall University South Orange, New Jersey 1856 Private/Catholic
(Diocesan)
Pirates 1979
Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania 1842 Private/Catholic
(Augustinian)
Wildcats 1980
Xavier University Cincinnati, Ohio 1831 Private/Catholic
(Jesuit)
Musketeers 2013
  1. Dates are when the schools joined either version of the Big East.

Associate members[change | change source]

The Big East has seven "associate members" that play either one or two sports in the conference.

School Location Founded Type
(affiliation)
Joined Sport Current main conference Nickname
CincinnatiUniversity of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio 1819 Public 2013 Women's lacrosse American Bearcats
ConnecticutUniversity of Connecticut Storrs, Connecticut 1881 Public 2013 Field hockey, women's lacrosse American Huskies
DenverUniversity of Denver Denver, Colorado 1864 Private (nonsectarian) 2013 Men's lacrosse The Summit Pioneers
FloridaUniversity of Florida Gainesville, Florida 1853 Public 2014 Women's lacrosse SEC Gators
Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia 1930 Public 2013 Field hockey Conference USA Lady Monarchs
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1884 Public/private hybrid 2013 Field hockey, women's lacrosse American Owls
Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee 1873 Private (nonsectarian) 2014 Women's lacrosse SEC Commodores

Former members[change | change source]

No full member of the Big East has left for another conference.

However, two schools that were associate members in the 2013–14 school year have left. Both joined conferences that play the sports that they housed in the Big East.

School Location Founded Type Joined Left Sport(s) Current
conference
Nickname
LouisvilleUniversity of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky 1798 Public 2013 2014 Field hockey, women's lacrosse ACC Cardinals
Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey 1766 Public 2013 2014 Field hockey, men's & women's lacrosse Big Ten Scarlet Knights

References[change | change source]