The Big East Conference is a college sports conference in the United States which sponsors a wide variety of 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, but added football in 1991. After years of conflict between schools that played top-level football and those that did not, the original league split along football lines in July 2013. The seven schools that did not play FBS (top-level) football bought the "Big East" name and formed a new Big East, while 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, and the current Big East and The American jointly claim the pre-split history of the original conference.