TCU has accepted an invitation to join the Big East Conference beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year. The announcement was made at a news conference today.
“Joining the Big East will enhance our student-athlete experience and continue raising TCU’s visibility on a national level,” said TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. “We have many championship winning teams within our athletics program and student-athletes across the board will now enjoy greater recognition. This move also provides an opportunity for TCU to recruit more students in different areas across the country, which will further diversify our student body.”
The Big East currently has 16 members, but only eight of them play football at the Division One level. The addition of TCU will give the conference 13 schools that field a baseball program. Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, West Virginia, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John’s, and Villanova are the other baseball playing schools in the conference.
The addition of TCU will give the Big East three baseball programs that have been to the College World Series since 2002. The Horned Frogs advanced this year, Louisville made its first trip in 2007 and Notre Dame advanced to Omaha in 2002.
The Dallas-Ft. Worth TV market is the fifth-largest in the nation. The Big East already has schools in nine of the top 35 media markets in the country, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Tampa, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee.
“We take tremendous pride in having a nationally-prominent athletics program and joining the Big East Conference will allow us to further grow our brand and increase our visibility and exposure,” TCU director of intercollegiate athletics Chris Del Conte said. “We are most appreciative of our time in the Mountain West Conference. The league helped elevate us across the board. We treasure the relationships we formed and the outstanding leadership provided by Commissioner Craig Thompson.
TCU will officially become a member of the Big East on July 1, 2012.
(TCU press release contributed to this report.)
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