New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Tulane University is set to join the Big East, as the landscape of collegiate athletics continues to evolve.
Following the defection of Rutgers to the Big Ten last week, the Big East moved quickly to add another school to its ever-changing league and it may not yet be done. Reports have indicated that East Carolina is set to join the Big East as a football-only member.
Tulane will join the Big East in all sports, beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
"Tulane University is an outstanding academic institution and is committed to excellence in athletics," said new Big East commissioner Mike Aresco on Tuesday. "They will be a valued member of the Big East."
Tulane sponsors 16 sports, six men's and 10 women's teams. The Green Wave will leave Conference USA, which is rapidly becoming a feeder league for the Big East. Central Florida, Houston, SMU and Memphis have already announced intentions to depart Conference USA for the Big East.
"The Big East is a distinguished collection of institutions that will be a wonderful home for Tulane," said Tulane president Scott Cowen. "We look forward to our mutual association and we are delighted to welcome the Big East to the Big Easy!"
Created mainly as a men's basketball conference in 1979 with Syracuse, Providence, Georgetown, St. John's, Seton Hall, Boston College and Connecticut as original members, the Big East is undergoing a massive overhaul.
Boston College left years ago for the ACC, which also raided previous Big East members Miami-Florida and Virginia Tech, while West Virginia worked out an agreement to leave this year for the Big 12. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are also headed to the ACC next year, while Notre Dame earlier this year announced its intention to leave for the ACC.
Rutgers' departure last week, along with the Notre Dame decision in September, likely spurred the Big East into its latest action.
The Big East, following the announcements by Syracuse and Pittsburgh in the fall of 2011, began its fortification by taking the previous Conference USA members, while adding Boise State, San Diego State and Navy as football-only members. Temple also rejoined the league this year for football and will become an all-sports member next year.