The long and agonizing wait for AQ conference status is over at Cullen Blvd. Starting on July 1, 2013 the University of Houston will say goodbye to their charter membership in C-USA that they’ve had since the breakup of the SWC in 1996 and will join the Big East conference in all sports
Coming to the Big East with them will be fellow C-USA schools SMU and Central Florida and football only members Boise State and San Diego State.
“Over the last 32 years, the Big East Conference has constantly
evolved along with the landscape of college athletics,” said Big East
Commissioner John Marinatto. “The inclusion of these five great
Universities, which bring a unique blend of premier academics, top
markets, strong athletics brands and outstanding competitive quality,
marks the beginning of a new chapter in that evolution. We are proud to
welcome these schools to the Big East family.
“Much like the conference as a whole, the Big East name — though
derived 32 years ago based on the geography of our founding members —
has evolved into a highly respected brand that transcends borders,
boundaries or regions. It’s national. Our membership makeup is now
reflective of that.”
UH President and Chancellor Renu Khator had this to say about the Cougars joining the Big East.
“I am honored and very pleased to accept the invitation to be a member of the Big East family,” Khator said. “Our vision at the University of Houston
is to be a nationally competitive university in every field: research,
student success and athletics. This affiliation gives us an opportunity
to play in a nationally competitive environment and to show our talents
on a national stage.
“This is a game-changer for us, and I know everybody here is very excited.”
We sure are President Khator. The addition of UH, SMU,.Central Florida, Boise State and San Diego
State brings the number of Big East football playing schools to 10 members as
it seeks to add the two additional schools the conference needs in
order to host a Big East championship game.
The rumblings about the Big East losing their AQ status when the current BCS contract expires at the end of that season are the least of our worries right now since we have other institutions trying to hire Kevin Sumlin away from us.
Joining the Big East may help us retain his services.
The AQ conference status will make it easier to continue the progress toward upgrading Hofheinz Pavilion and constructing the new football stadium as part of UH president and chancellor Renu Khator’s push for UH to have Tier One status in athletics to go hand in hand with the Tier One academic status.
We UH alums along with the school administration and current students are ecstatic about the news that we’re finally members of an AQ conference again starting in 2013 and look forward to seeing the Coogs competing in Big East play in all sports.