At an attempt to stay alive, the Big East Conference announced on Tuesday that Tulane will be joining the conference as a full member in 2014. East Carolina will also be joining, but just as a football-only member.
The Big East, which has basically been cherry-picking the Conference USA over the last several years to stay alive, just took their 6th CUSA school in 2 years.
CUSA Commish Britton Banowsky issued a statement earlier on Tuesday in regards to the leaving schools:
We thank East Carolina and charter member Tulane for all their contributions to the league and wish them well.These are unprecedented times in higher education. Notwithstanding the changes, we are excited about our future and we remain committed to our strategic plan — a major market, two-division conference that is student-athlete friendly.
To be clear, we have several options but no new member agreements have been made at this time. We appreciate the support of our members and will immediately begin a presidentially led process to evaluate our future options.
Both Rutgers and Maryland have recently decided to bail on the Big East, so replacing them as quickly as possible was a smart move by them. The logistics involved from going travelling from Tulane in New Orleans to play Big East schools is going to be an interesting one, though.
It will be interesting to see how the CUSA rebounds or if it is even possible to. Now is the time to strike if you are a conference looking to add teams and CUSA is prime for the picking.