UConn to rejoin Big East Conference

Photo courtesy of the Big East Conference.

CHRIS BROWN | SPORTS EDITOR | cbbrown@butler.edu

The Big East Conference announced on June 27 that the University of Connecticut, a member of the original Big East from 1979-2013, will leave the AAC to rejoin the conference. Multiple media reports indicate the move will occur prior to the 2020-21 school year.

The announcement came after UConn’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to accept the Big East’s invitation for all sports except football, which the conference does not sponsor.

“On the 40th anniversary of our founding in 1979, we’re very excited to welcome back the University of Connecticut, a BIG EAST charter member,” Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman said in a statement.  “As a group of schools rooted in basketball pre-eminence, we can think of no better partner than UConn to join us in perpetuating the rivalries, traditions and successes that have made the BIG EAST unlike any other conference in college basketball.”

UConn left the Big East for the AAC when it was formed in 2013 during conference realignment, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams have combined for four national titles since then.

“The BIG EAST is an incredibly special and enduring part of our heritage,” UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement. “We were a founding member 40 years ago. Our programs grew and thrived in this conference over decades. The intensity of the competition, the passion of our rivalries, and all of our most triumphant wins and toughest losses helped to make us who we are. Coming back here means UConn is coming home. We are excited about the future.”

After playing the upcoming season as part of the AAC, the Huskies will become the 11th full member of the Big East. In basketball, the league will expand its conference schedule to 20 games to retain the round-robin format of playing every team twice.

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