UConn will officially join the Big East. On Wednesday, the UConn Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of moving the school’s athletic programs from the American Athletic Conference to the Big East.
UConn has accepted an invitation to join the Big East Conference pic.twitter.com/GyfnT2D8BD— Alex Putterman (@AlexPutterman) June 26, 2019
After Big East Presidents approved the move on Tuesday, all that’s left is the official announcement of the move which will come on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Here’s what we know:
News broke late Friday night that planned to join the Big East Conference but still needed to wait for the official invitation. The Huskies will move every sport from their current home in the American Athletic Conference with the exception of football and both ice hockey programs, which aren’t sponsored by the Big East, along field hockey, which is already in the Big East.
The big question remains what to do with football. UConn is unlikely to stay as a football-only member in the AAC with a conference source telling Stadium’s Brent McMurphy the Huskies are “delusional” if they think that will happen. Joining the Mid-American Conference or Conference-USA as football-only members doesn’t seem likely either, meaning its likely the football team becomes an independent. Dropping the program to FCS or eliminating it completely aren’t options either, according to the Hartford Courant.
On Wednesday, UConn football head coach Randy Edsall released a statement supporting the school’s decision to move to the Big East, despite the uncertainty it brings to the football program.
The biggest winners are the basketball programs, who will join a better conference that makes more sense geographically and features some former rivals from the original Big East Conference. Geno Auriemma was reportedly a major proponent of the move even if his public comments on the matter don’t reflect that.
There’s still plenty to figure out, such as the AAC’s exit fee, the Big East’s entrance fee and much more. But at least we know this: UConn is officially in the Big East.
The Hartford Courant’s Mike Anthony has some information on the contract between UConn and the Big East:
I’m hearing the contract between UConn and the Big East that was just signed will be available for public to read later today on UConn website. Entry fee is $3.5 million. Exit fee is huge initially ... but slides down to as low as $10 million over time.— Mike Anthony (@ManthonyCourant) June 26, 2019
I hear Big East did not require UConn to sign a grant of rights agreement.— Mike Anthony (@ManthonyCourant) June 26, 2019