ECU football program joins Big East
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
East Carolina is finally going to get its wish when it comes to conference affiliation — at least in football.
According to an Associated Press report, East Carolina and Tulane will join the Big East Conference.
East Carolina will join as a football-only member, while Tulane will be joining as a full member. Both will make the change in 2014.
The two schools become the fifth and sixth members of Conference USA to join the Big East in football in since Dec. 2011. Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist and Central Florida also left Conference USA for the Big East in the spring.
The moves come on the heels of Rutgers leaving the Big East for the Big Ten. Rutgers announced its intentions last week, but has not been specific on when it would join the conference.
Maryland also announced last week it would leave the ACC for the Big 10.
The Big East recently lost West Virginia to the Big 12. The Mountaineers competed in their new conference this year. The Big East also lost Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC, which begins play in Sept., 2013.
Boise State and San Diego State join the Big East for the 2013 season in football only. Navy also committed to the Big East for 2015.
Conference USA expanded May 4 by adding Charlotte, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Texas-San Antonio and Florida International. All officially join the league on July 1, 2013.
Old Dominion joined on May 17 and begins football play in 2014. Charlotte will play football in the 2015 season.
Appalachian State, which is looking to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision, was not asked to join Conference USA. All those who were asked to join the conference, except for Louisiana Tech, have a minimum metro area population of 1.67 million people, and a minimum enrollment of 24,125.
Louisiana Tech is in Ruston, La., which has a metro area population of 58,349 and an enrollment of 11,581.