Tulsa To Soon-To-Be-Named (Current Big East) In 2014-15

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From the current Big East….Tulsa to soon-to-be-named conference in 2014


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Big East Board of Directors, in a unanimous vote, has admitted The University of Tulsa to full membership, beginning July 1, 2014, in the soon-to-be-renamed and rebranded Conference.
The announcement was made by Commissioner Michael Aresco and marks a continuation of the dynamic reshaping of the Conference.

Tulsa’s entrance gives the Conference 11 all-sports members for 2014, adds a successful and broad-based athletic program and enhances the league’s geographic footprint. Navy will join the conference for football only in 2015, which will give the conference 12 football members and the ability to conduct a football championship game.

“The addition of The University of Tulsa marks another significant step in building a strong conference,” said Aresco. “In common with our member schools, Tulsa brings a rich academic profile, outstanding and storied athletic programs, and a devoted fan base. Under the leadership of President Steadman Upham, the University will be a valued member of our conference and will make us even more competitive across the collegiate landscape.”

“The University of Tulsa family and friends are extremely excited about this new conference,” said University of Tulsa President Steadman Upham. “TU’s profile as a nationally ranked research university continues to rise alongside the continued successes of our Golden Hurricane athletic program. We welcome the opportunity to align ourselves with institutions that share our commitment to excellence and integrity. Admission into the Conference provides a new avenue for growth as we seek to further engage loyal alumni, prospective students and their families and new TU fans,” said President Upham.

“Tulsa is an outstanding new member for our Conference,” said President Judy Genshaft of the University of South Florida and chair of the Conference Executive Committee. “Tulsa has high academic and athletic standards that fit well with our member institutions. We enthusiastically welcome Tulsa and President Steadman Upham to the Conference.”

Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, the Conference will consist of the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut, East Carolina University, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the University of South Florida, Temple University, Tulane University and the University of Tulsa. The U.S. Naval Academy will become a football-only member in 2015.

Founded in 1895, the University of Tulsa is a comprehensive, doctoral-degree granting institution. The private university provides undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality in the arts, humanities, sciences, business, education, engineering, law, nursing and applied health sciences. Tulsa has an enrollment of 3,160.

Tulsa competes in 18 intercollegiate sports. The school fields men’s teams in basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track & field. Women’s teams compete in basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field, and volleyball.

TU athletics has set a high standard of success and in the past eight seasons has won 49 conference championships. Tulsa ranked 17th in the final fall Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings and in the 19 years of NACDA’s Sports Director’s Cup has placed among the top-100 universities 14 times.

Tulsa football has established itself as one of the nation’s winningest programs in the past decade with an average of 8.4 wins. The Golden Hurricane has made eight bowl game appearances in the past 10 years, while posting four 10-win seasons in the last six years. In 2012, Tulsa compiled an 11-3 record, won the Conference USA Championship and defeated Iowa State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

One of college basketball’s greatest players of all-time, Danny Manning, is the head coach of the Tulsa men’s program. Manning directed the Hurricane to a 17-16 record in his first season in 2012-13 and a berth in the College Basketball Invitational. Since 1980, Tulsa basketball has made 21 postseason tournament appearances, including 13 NCAA tournaments with one Elite Eight and three Sweet 16 appearances, along with two NIT Championships.

The Tulsa women’s basketball team won the Conference USA Championship and competed in the 2013 NCAA Championship.

Tulsa’s NCAA appearances in the last three years have come in the sports of men’s & women’s cross country, women’s basketball, men’s & women’s golf, men’s soccer, softball, men’s & women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. The indoor and outdoor track & field teams regularly advance individuals to NCAA Championship competition.

In the last 15 years, more than $85 million has been invested in athletic facilities for TU student-athletes. The home of Tulsa football, Skelly Field at H.A.Chapman Stadium, was completely renovated in 2008, while the Mike Case Athletic Complex, which houses football and academic facilities, opened in 2007. The Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium, Collins Family Softball Complex, the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, the Jack Zink Indoor Rowing Center and the J. Bird Shell Nest have all been built within the past 10 years. The home of Tulsa basketball and volleyball is the 8,355-seat Donald W. Reynolds Center, which opened in December 1998.

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40 thoughts on “Tulsa To Soon-To-Be-Named (Current Big East) In 2014-15

  1. Ray Martineau

    Here is the bottom line as far as I am concerned. UConn has to take the bull by the horns. We are what we are. We are in the new conference and have this new competition. UConn has to show that they are the power in this new conference. They have to take control of their own destiny. Look no matter what If UCONN wants to be taken seriously in football they have to show that they are winners. They need to bring in some big name schools and then maybe the football world will look at UConn with an approving eye. What happens with UConn is up to them.
    from Ohio

  2. Cwb

    a few years ago pepole said tand that loweyville ciincinati and south florida were not good teams now everyone puts them ahead of uconn this new league has potential to be a good group and what about boise st. they have a poor group but they still get ito the top 10 every year grow up and let it build when uconn whet to the big east many said nothing good whould happen but they have 5 teams in womans and mens b ball the acc will be radede again and will not be much better than the group that uconn is in now the sky is the limit if all keep working for the top

  3. jack54

    Uconn is on hold until the ACC/ Maryland lawsuit is settled. Only after 2 more teams head to the B1G will UC be considered as a replacement. Cinny will be their 1st choice. It will then come down to UC or USF. Until then UC will be in C-USA 2. Any idea when this lawsuit is expected to be decided ?

    1. TheJerk

      dont be shocked when, depending on who/if the ACC loses, if Cincy, USF, and UCF are higher on their wish list than UConn

  4. joesimsbury

    @ Dez

    Is there a fine line between being bitter and being realistic? I suppose one could be mistaken for the other. The truth is that the position UConn finds itself is more inexplicable than cause for bitterness. I do think if the administration keeps working the back channels that we will end up in a decent conference. Why? Because unlike what some think, UConn has an attractiveness to it that conferences want. Further,I’m sure the UConn leadership has a sense of urgency about this.

    In the meantime, it is insulting to see press releases from Providence that tout this far-flung mess of a conference that they have created. The reason that we have to keep pushing for something to happen now is because I fear UConn will sink into oblivion if trapped for any length of time in this conference alignment. Please don’t doubt my feelings for the Huskies. I have loyally followed UConn since the days of Toby Kimball and Fred Shabel and will continue to do so with vigor.

    In the meantime, I plan to comment on the Providence-based press releases regarding this mess at will. There is a cruel irony in this. This conference is still run out of Providence, as it has been since its inception. Yet PC is long gone and will be making more money than UConn, sans football and baseball, with the Catholic 7! Go figure!

    1. Eric

      I agree… they need to just keep working their contacts to see what Uconn has to offer. I do not agree that USF or UCF are better options for the ACC. Duke and UNC if they are both there still would cry foul letting them in. Coach K already said they want to be the dominant basketball conference. That won’t happen if those two get in. Something will have to give and Uconn will get a shot. Lets hope it is sooner then later.

  5. Eric

    I have no doubt that history wise Tulsa has had better football teams then we ever have had Dez. We have just made it to the party when we were sent home with the door slammed in our face. I have no doubt that we are in for some tough games against teams that having something to prove and we better be ready. I also am not going to take this out on administration since I have come to the conclusion there is not one thing we probably could have changed outside of not suing everyone after the first teams left. All those people are long gone so I think this admin team already had the deck stacked against them. I also think that we are still going to move on to another league like the ACC once the lawsuit goes through. BUT…. this does not take away from the damage that our university is in for as long as we stay in this league. We are precariously perched on top of a cliff… still considered a power conference team but now being sent to the minors. Kind of like in European Soccer team realignment. I think that this can have a devastating impact well beyond the success of our football team. I think that how this affects our university (rightly or wrongly) can become a stigma that it might never recover from. Extreme thinking, maybe. But this debate is not about the facts of how good Tulsa is. It is a debate on how our university (those in the state of CT and fans of the programs) survives this move. We are the only true team in the entire landscape of college athletics that is taking a step backwards. Cincy USF, had to move up to get here. We were already here and now being forced back. ESPN Andrea Adelson call Uconn the biggest “loser” though it is a completely unfair. Perception, especially in todays media is everything. Look at our basketball teams in the Big East… look at what our football league has been able to do in the college landscape. Yet we have been looked down on for years and years. It is not about the facts about who we are going to be playing in the future of this league. It never has been for many of us. Big picture thinkers see a school who has scraped their way to the top and we see what could be the writing on the wall unless we move fast. Bring on Tulsa, ECU, and Tulane…. but lets never settle for this. We have to much potential!

    1. dconner Post author

      @Eric I hear ya. There was some damage done to the ACC a few years ago, right? I think that’s a fact. It’s an important fact even today Eric

  6. joesimsbury

    @ jack54 – Yes, it would have been less stressful to have moved to C-USA two years ago!

    There is no making a silk purse out of this sow’s ear or whatever you want to call this conference. No more sugar coating, please. The conference is a joke and the best proof of that is what the media moguls have negotiated for a TV deal. UConn stands to get less than a tenth of what the ACC teams get and even less than that compared to the B1G teams. The “Whatever 12″ conference is considered so pathetic by the media that each “Catholic 7″ team will get more than UConn!

    BTW, I respect all who try to remain optimistic. I wish I could, but this is dreadful! Aresco has cobbled together a “Frankenstein” conference where every team’s best move will be to get the heck out! Good luck to UConn’s administration in making that happen. They’ll need it!

  7. Artie A...

    It is easy for anyone not a fan of UConn to say look at the bright side…
    It is easy for Mike and the writers to tell us just how excited we should be, but it is all ridiculous.

    The Big East is still meeting in RI and calling themselves that with their divorced sisters?

    No offense to Tulsa but I find it hard to get excited about a school of 3,200 as a replacement for WVU, the Oranges or Pitt. We have an up hill battle on all fronts.

    1. dconner Post author

      @Artie I’m just curious my friend. What do you do when you – you – face an uphill battle or battles? I know some don’t bother with it because its not in them, easier not to fight. Some put their heads down, do it, complain, blame somebody, anybody, all the way up – or down – trying. And some just put their head down, don’t complain and fight the battle…which would you consider yourself? I’m curious. And, as a businessman, which one you do? Thanks buddy

      1. TheJerk

        Dez there are so many things just wrong about your comment. And before you blast me about the post not being about football, but artie in particular, some people who have followed you for a while know how you operate. I have said all along CT sports fans are some the worst in the country, make no bones about it. But big time football is first and foremost a business. We didnt make it that way, it just is. It’s in competition everyday for your entertainment dollars, no different than a movie theater, a mini golf course, or AHL hockey. We as consumers have choices to make in what to do with our dollars if we are not happy about the “product”. And make no mistake NCAA football is a product, and a profitible one at that. The main job of the school and the conference is to put out the most appealing product to the masses at a profitable position. This is not a matter of root root root for the home team anymore, this IS a matter of business. Uconn is not GOOD business for the other conferences. Simple. Dez Dont get me wrong, as a very loyal and passionate UCONN football fan, I wish we could add 25K seats, sell every game out, people actually stay until the end of the game. I wish that by doing that we could write our own ticket out of this god forsaken conference. But its business. I liken this situation a little bit to hockey in hartford. Not that CT fans did a good job of supporting the Whalers, but when you downgraded from the NHL to the AHL (becuase of business), look what happened to the fans? Uninterested, uninspired, not excited for seeing minor league hockey. Just as UC fans today are probaly not excited about seeing minor league college football. And make no mistake, thats the direction the NCAA is going with a power 4 conference model. CT sports fans have been here before, and you dont need to look to far into the past to see how they reacted.

        1. dconner Post author

          @TheJerk…I think the opening of your comment is wrong on at least two levels. I’ve read your comment though. I want to hear from Artie because I asked him the questions. You have a blessed day…

          1. UConn Jac

            The new Conf is where we landed. people are a little bitter because we were not invited to the ACC and the Poor TV contract. Now as far as the competing. Some of these schools will give us plenty in a given year. Houston, SMU, Tulsa, and East Carolina. Anyone what happend the last time we played Navy at the Rent. Well they rushed for approx 500 yds and the score wasn’t pretty either. Also, before we knock Tulsa we should look up the enrolmemt of Wake Forest.

          2. dconner Post author

            @UConn Jac … A little bitter, lol? It’s a little bit more than that. I wish the fans could do something about this. I really do. I wish they could just pick up the program, school and place it wherever they wanted but the reality is they don’t have any control. They can vent and support or vent and not support but I think that’s the extent of it as far as the fans go.

      2. Artie A...

        Dez…You do not want to go here as I will kick your butt. This with your healing from an Achilles as I recover from a double spinal fusion. I have enough scare tissue to show I have never run from a fight.

        I have supported UConn long before you came on the scene and backed you in a lot of the comments where others were hating.

        I am not a optimist nor a pessimist, the most hated of all a realist.

        If you see butterflies and flowers in our new conference compared to what we lost god bless you. We who have watched from the start (Yankee Conference days) realize what has been lost.

        I have already purchased my tickets for the season, and I will continue to follow all things UConn. This does not equate to selling out the house against teams on our schedule other than the obvious.

        Please take into consideration what the Jerk said about CT fans, he is spot on!

        1. dconner Post author

          @Artie – yeah you probably would. At least you can lift your leg to kick it, lol… Anyway, some of TheJerks comments were on. The ones about me I don’t know.

          My point though Artie is this: the deal is the deal man. Complaining about isn’t going to help or change it. Complaining about writers is not going to help it or change it. Complaining about the president or AD is not going to help it or change it. It may help you vent some but how long can you do that before you bust something or realize its not going to help or change it? It is what it is. Here’s what it comes down to and I mean really: either get behind the new thing or don’t (I know you will and most doing the complaining will, too). Hope for a place in future movement thats suitable to you because we know there’s going to be more movement. I think that’s about the size of it. I don’t see any other options. I know this complaining about the new deal, writers, etc., isn’t going to open up any options – or help or change things.

          1. Navin R. Johnson

            Agree DC…BUT…look at TheJerks comment up top. Cicny, USF and UCF will be ahead of Connecticut for the ACC. There is no place to go for Connecticut. This is what it is and we will have to accept it and the “glory days” will be behind us in 1-A football.

          2. dconner Post author

            @Navin …Gonna pass on commenting on that unless he or anyone can say/prove its nothing more than a feeling. I mean I’ll try to respond to comments but feelings might be a little much

          3. Navin R. Johnson

            From the things that I’ve read (CBS Sports, College Football News) Connecticut is not even in the realignment conversation. It’s not a feeling but my opinion based off of many things that I’ve read and believe.

            Now one of the things that I feel very strong about is that Dick Blumenthal did major damage to any shot that Connecticut has to go to the ACC. Lets remember what he did all for his personal political gain. He is truly one of the worst people on the planet…not just because of this but other things. The man has no character.

            Another point about the ACC, will it be raided? Will the ACC be the ACC in 5 years? Is it a stable conference? It might be a good landing spot now…but for the future?

          4. dconner Post author

            @Navin Yes!!! Great point at the end. Yes!!! I’ve also said be careful what you wish for. Progress, yes…(enter breath release here).yes

  8. Frankie/Stamford

    Eric, you are absolutely right. The concerns you stated are the same I stated in past comments to the football and basketball blogs, especially when you have a commissioner that in a interview with CBSSN admitted he gave up the BE name and accepted the new ESPN deal because of the diminished presence in the northeast with the new league. I may be missing something, but how does this work for UConn? I also haven’t heard any reaction from our super star AD and President.

    1. Jesse

      Tulsa has been to a bowl 8 out of the last 10 years and won two CUSA championship games if I remember correctly. UCF has been to two CUSA championship games against Tulsa no less and recently had a 10 win season. Houston almost finished in the top 10 two years ago. I know they started out rocky last year, but they bounced back. Memphis is terrible we all know that, but lets face it they were added for BBall and the Fedex money. I honestly don’t know anything about Tulane other than it’s in Louisiana. And ECU has been a decent team for years with probably one of the most loyal fanbases in the country. Outside of Louisville, the teams coming in are about the same or better competition wise. I bet once the dust settles this confernce will be turn out be probably even more fun to watch.

  9. jack54

    It would have been a lot less stressful if UConn had just left the BE a few years back and joined C-USA.

  10. joesimsbury

    Another opponent that is 1,500 miles away? Aresco has been pushing his propaganda for so long he actually believes what he says! Please note how many other flag-ship state universities are stuck in the “Whatever 12″ conference. UConn needs to keep quiet and plug along trying to get out of this horrid conference mess!

    1. Jesse

      You do realize that there will be two divisions when Tulsa joins and UConn will most likely only have to make one trip out west per year. I don’t know what all the doom and gloom about this conference is about. Sure it isn’t what is was this past season, but the teams coming in are decent and have the potential to be just as good as any team that has or will leave. I’m pretty sure everyone said the exact same thing you are saying when the Big East added UConn to the football side. Look how that turned out for us. Just relax. This conference is going to surprise a lot of people.

      1. Eric

        I have no doubt this conference could be competitive but it is so uninspiring. You have to understand that we become a destination for students as our bb team grew nationally playing the syracuse, g towns, Pitts of the world. Will we still draw the kids when we have the e Carolina Tulane, and Tulsa of the world coming to campus. This is a huge part of student life. Will we get the big time athletic donors? Time will tell. This is more then just are we in a competitive f ball conference… It can we stay relevant long enough to make a move. Unless your in the Ivy League, being part of a strong academic conference does not matter. Especially with schoo that have absolutely no connection with us whatsoever. So I really don’t think being surprised matters. We know what this league is and how far it will grow. This league has a ceiling and we already hit it. Why? Networks have shown that they don’t care about mid majors. No matter how good they are. I am off my soap box and I still support my team. I just rather support them somewhere else!

    2. Pat C

      I know we’re all down on a team like Tulsa joining the new conference but to be honest I’m not sure why. Why does everyone think, as far as football, we even belong in a “power” conference. I mean as a program Tulsa is more successful than we are. They’ve actually won their conference outright before, been ranked more than we have and actually finished a season in the Top 25. Maybe as a program we should try being more like a Tulsa than thinking we should be lined up with Ohio State.

      1. dconner Post author

        @Pat I don’t think there was much interest in finding out the facts about Tulsa football as it relates to the rest of the to be named conference. Gotta understand Pat folks don’t want to hear who’s coming in they want to hear when/if UConn is getting out. Nothing else matters now but it’s good you pointed out the facts since we like those quite a bit. Thanks

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