TCU Spurns Big East for Big 12

by October 06, 2011

The mass exodus of Big East programs continues, this time involving one that had not even arrived at the conference yet. Texas Christian University agreed to join the Big East Conference in November of 2010, with the program’s debut season slated for the 2012-2013 campaign. But now the program has had a change of heart and will join the Big 12 instead. From the NY Times: “The chaos of conference realignment took another twist Thursday, with Texas Christian planning to leave the Big East Conference, which it had yet to join officially in the first place. T.C.U. will instead become a member of the more geographically friendly Big 12, which is scurrying to replace Texas A&M and keep Missouri from switching leagues.T.C.U. was brought in by the Big East in November 2010 to give a boost to the league’s foundering football reputation. Its departure means that the Big East’s future in that sport is now in serious doubt.“It’s one of the most disappointing things I’ve seen in 35 years in the game to see this thing break up like this,” said Rick Pitino, the men’s basketball coach at Louisville, which is a Big East member. “We’ve stayed loyal to it all along. We’ve stayed loyal, and by staying loyal we’re not sure what’s going to happen to us.”The Big 12 released a statement Monday authorizing the conference to commence negotiations to bring in T.C.U. as its 10th member. Although the arrangement has not been formalized, Texas sent a release that welcomed T.C.U to the conference, indicating that the move is all but done. “We’re proud that T.C.U. has been invited to join the Big 12,” Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said. “Their commitment to academics and success on the field make them an excellent fit.”