NEW ORLEANS -- The musical chairs of college conference sports realignment has come to New Orleans. Tulane University is joining a cadre of school bolting from Conference USA to join the Big East in 2014.
University president Scott Cowen made the formal announcement at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Big East wanted Tulane for three reasons: academic reputation, location and ability to recover after Katrina, Cowen said. Rick Dickson, the athletic director, said, "It's an exciting day. Icing on the cake for us."
According to multiple reports, Tulane will join the conference in all sports. Also reportedly exiting from Conference USA are East Carolina, SMU, Memphis, Houston and Central Florida.
Boise State and San Diego State are set to join the Big East in 2013 as well.
The move for the six schools to leave Conference USA comes on the heels of Rutgers fleeing the Big East to join the Big Ten and earlier Big East departures of West Virgina to the Big XII and Syracuse and Pittsburgh leaving to join to the ACC in 2013. TCU backed out of plan to join the Big East, opting for the Big XII instead.
Currently, UConn, South Florida, Temple, Louisville and Cincinnati are the Big East's members in all sports, though UConn, Louisville and Cincinnati are possible defectors to the ACC since Maryland announced plans to leave the conference for the Big Ten.