Source: Big East might soon send TU invitation
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Thursday, January 17, 2013
1/17/13 at 4:50 AM
After it became official on Wednesday that San Diego State will remain a Mountain West Conference member instead of moving to the Big East, anticipation intensified at the University of Tulsa.
While attending Wednesday night's UTEP-Tulsa Conference USA basketball game at the Reynolds Center, TU President Steadman Upham would not address his university's conference situation.
It is becoming increasingly apparent, however, that the Big East may extend a membership invitation.
A source close to the situation indicated that a Big East invitation could be delivered by the end of the month and possibly as early as next week.
TU has been a member of Conference USA since 2005. If the university accepts a Big East offer, the membership would apply to all Golden Hurricane sports and likely would take effect with the start of the 2014 football season.
If TU does change conferences, the university would be required to pay an exit fee to C-USA. The amount of such a fee has not yet been calculated by the conference or TU officials.
Six current Conference USA members are headed to the Big East. Central Florida, SMU, Memphis and Houston depart this summer. East Carolina and Tulane become Big East members in 2014.
Big East officials are involved in media-rights negotiations with various television networks and media sources. The negotiation is expected to be concluded soon. After the Big East is able to determine the amount of revenue that its restructured membership will collect annually, it is expected that Big East officials will resume their dialogue with TU officials.
Academics are believed to be a prominent component in Upham's decision-making. The Conference USA replacement schools are Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion and Texas-San Antonio.
"I also want to be in a conference that we can be proud of academically," Upham said last month. "Losing two of the private schools (SMU and Tulane) in Conference USA is damaging to me, in the way I think about the conference."
Original Print Headline: Source: Big East might soon send TU invitation