Big East Conference
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 current 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. UConn (Connecticut) will become the Big East's first public school in July 2020.
Big East[a 1]
|Butler University||Indianapolis, Indiana||1855||Private (nonsectarian)||Bulldogs||2013|
|Creighton University||Omaha, Nebraska||1878||Private/Catholic
|DePaul University||Chicago, Illinois||1898||Private/Catholic
|Georgetown University||Washington, D.C.||1789||Private/Catholic
|Marquette University||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||1881||Private/Catholic
|Providence College||Providence, Rhode Island||1917||Private/Catholic
|St. John's University||New York City, New York||1870||Private/Catholic
|Seton Hall University||South Orange, New Jersey||1856||Private/Catholic
|Villanova University||Villanova, Pennsylvania||1842||Private/Catholic
|Xavier University||Cincinnati, Ohio||1831||Private/Catholic
- Dates are when the schools joined either version of the Big East.
Future member[change | change source]
|University of Connecticut (UConn)||Storrs, Connecticut||1881||Public||Huskies||2020[a]|
- UConn had been a member of the original Big East from 1979 until the 2013 conference split.
Associate members[change | change source]
The Big East has six "associate members" that play either one or two sports in the conference. UConn's associate membership will be replaced by full membership in July 2020.
|Joined||Sport||Current main conference||Nickname|
|University of Connecticut (UConn)||Storrs, Connecticut||1881||Public||2013||Field hockey||American
(Big East in July 2020)
|University of Denver||Denver, Colorado||1864||Private (nonsectarian)||2013 (men)
|Men's and women's lacrosse||The Summit||Pioneers|
|Liberty University||Lynchburg, Virginia||1971||Private (Baptist)||2016||Field hockey||Big South||Lady Flames|
|Old Dominion University||Norfolk, Virginia||1930||Public||2013
|Quinnipiac University||Hamden, Connecticut||1929||Private (nonsectarian)||2016||Field hockey||MAAC||Bobcats|
|Temple University||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||1884||Public/private hybrid||2013||Field hockey||American||Owls|
Former members[change | change source]
No full member of the Big East has left for another conference. However, seven associate members have left the Big East in one or more sports, with five entirely leaving the Big East.
Two schools that were associate members in the 2013–14 school year left to join conferences that play the sports that they housed in the Big East. Five women's lacrosse members left after the 2017–18 school year when the American Athletic Conference, full-time home to three of those schools, started a women's lacrosse league. Two of these schools, Temple and UConn, stayed in the Big East in field hockey. UConn, which left Big East women's lacrosse for its then-current all-sports home of The American, will return to the Big East in July 2020.
in former Big East sport(s)
|University 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|
|University of Cincinnati||Cincinnati, Ohio||1819||Public||2013||2018||Women's lacrosse||American||Bearcats|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, Florida||1853||Public||2014||2018||Women's lacrosse||SEC||American||Gators|
|Temple University||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||1884||Public/private hybrid||2013||2018||Women's lacrosse||American||Owls|
|University of Connecticut (UConn)||Storrs, Connecticut||1881||Public||2013||2018||Women's lacrosse||American
(Big East in July 2020)
|Vanderbilt University||Nashville, Tennessee||1873||Private (nonsectarian)||2014||2018||Women's lacrosse||SEC||American||Commodores|
References[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Big East Conference.|
- "Big East Conference". bigeast.com. Retrieved 2014-05-29.