UConn is on the verge of returning to its roots.
According to several reports on Saturday – including from The Athletic and Hartford (Conn.) Courant – the University of Connecticut is expected to be announced as the latest member of the Big East, joining the conference in all the sports it sponsors.
The move not only would grant the Huskies better security and opportunity for its men’s and women’s basketball programs, it would help renew some storied rivalries with old Big East basketball foes, including DePaul, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Georgetown, Seton Hall and Villanova.
If UConn is announced as a full member of the Big East – the Huskies are associate members in field hockey – it does leave questions as to the future of the Huskies’ football program. The Big East has not sponsored football since its seven non-FBS programs separated from their in-conference football counterparts in 2012. Many of the football schools went on to form the American Athletic Conference, of which UConn has been a member since 2013, with additions like Houston, Memphis and UCF, among others.
According to a report from the Courant, UConn is not considering dropping its football program, though it is unlikely the AAC would keep the Huskies on as a football-only member. Even if UConn does move to the Big East, it is expected to compete in the AAC for the 2019 season.
That would mean that, starting in 2020, UConn would either have to go independent or find a new conference to join as a football-only member.
The UConn athletics department, when reached for comment by the Courant, said in a statement that “it is our responsibility to always be mindful of what is in the best interest of our student athletes, our fans and our future. With that being said we have been and remain proud members of the American Athletic Conference.”
The Big East declined comment to the Courant.
Source: Read Full Article