It's Official: SMU Heads Big East
It has officially been invited to join the Big East, and is only too happy to accept. In a conference call with media, commissioner John Marinatto just intro'd the Hilltop to the ranks of the conference, along with the University of Central Florida and the University of Houston, who will be full members. Boise State and San Diego State are joining as football-only members.
Said Marinatto, "The Big East has had a record of reinventing itself," and today's announcement is a "bold and creative step: We are going west." The commissioner insisted all the new members bring "great facilities and engaged fans and an unwavering commitment to athletics," and makes the Big East "the first truly national college football conference" with a "powerful model unmatched" by any other conference.
SMU President R. Gerald Turner was also on the line and called the move out of Conference USA in 2013 and into the Big East "an honor." Said Turner, "The city of Dallas will be delighted to welcome all the Big East members ... and with the University of Houston we can truly say the Big East conference has spread to the state of Texas." It's now time for the Q&A session. Can a question about June Jones be far behind?
Update: Nobody ever asked Turner about Jones and his rescinded offer from ASU, allegedly. All we have, for now, is this, from SMU's official release:
"Our move to the Big East is good for SMU, for Dallas and for this region of the country and reflects the reemergence of our successful football program under the leadership of June Jones," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "Coupled with our steady rise academically and athletically, we are in a good position to continue our rise among national universities. On top of that, a grassroots effort of our alumni, elected officials and steadfast supporters coast-to-coast gave us the momentum we needed. We look forward to this new era of competition."