Rutgers University will become the fifth team to leave the Big East Conference since West Virginia University moved to the Big 12 Conference after the end of their 2011-12 seasons. Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh will be leaving at the culmination of their 2012-13 seasons, with the University of Notre Dame expected to be close behind.
Amidst all of the changes occurring with teams coming in and teams moving out of the Big East, Mike Aresco was appointed commissioner of the conference and recently appeared to speak at Big East Media Days for both men's and women's basketball at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.
He spoke on Tuesday, November 20th, of having yet another conference member vacate the Big East. "Although we are disappointed that Rutgers has decided to leave the Big East Conference, we wish them well," Aresco said. "They have been a valued member of the Conference for many years." Rutgers has been a member of the Big East for the last 21 years, dating back to 1991.
"We realize that conference realignment is currently a fact of life in college sports," Areso expressed.
"In the context of this realignment, changes in our membership have been taking place, including important additions," Aresco stated, taking focus away from Rutgers' move and placing it on the future of the Big East Conference. "In fact, the Big East has expanded its scope with new members in California, Texas, Florida, Idaho, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. As a result, the Big East has created a unique national football conference that is a factor in the BCS Championship, remains the nation's strongest basketball conference top to bottom, and is a major force across the full spectrum of men's and women's college sports."
Aresco concluded by saying, "We remain committed to, and confident in, the continued growth and vitality of the Big East Conference."