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Tulsa Officially Joins The Soon-To-Be Renamed Big East Conference

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The University of Tulsa announced Tuesday it will join the soon-to-be renamed Big East Conference starting in July of 2014.

3/6/13 Related Story: Reports: Tulsa To Join The Big East

According to a press release, beginning with the 2014-15 academic year the Conference will be the home of the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut, East Carolina University, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the University of South Florida, Temple University, Tulane University and the University of Tulsa. The U.S. Naval Academy will become a football-only member in 2015.

Tulsa reunites with former conference allies East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane and UCF. In addition, Tulsa and Cincinnati will renew its conference affiliation that saw the two teams as co-members of the Missouri Valley Conference for 13 seasons (1957-58 to 1969-70).

"The University of Tulsa family and friends are extremely excited about this new conference. TU's profile as a nationally ranked research university continues to rise alongside the continued successes of our Golden Hurricane athletic program. We welcome the opportunity to align ourselves with institutions that share our commitment to excellence and integrity. Admission into the Conference provides a new avenue for growth as we seek to further engage loyal alumni, prospective students and their families and new TU fans," said President Stedman Upham.

"I'd like to extend my gratitude to President Upham and others at TU who helped us secure this acceptance into the Conference, allowing our student-athletes to compete at the highest level," said Derrick Gragg, vice president and director of athletics. Gragg was named the school's vice president and director of athletics on March 20.

"TU is pleased to share a national stage with universities that also understand the traditional role athletics play in the fabric of college life. Like our coaches, I am committed to the success of our student-athletes individually and to our athletic program as a whole. Our conference realignment advances our goal of competing against top-tier teams with greater media coverage and renewed rivalries of intercollegiate athletics."

The new conference affiliation is the sixth home to University of Tulsa athletic teams. Tulsa's first league membership came in the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference from 1914-28, the Big Four Conference (1929-32), the Missouri Valley Conference (1935-85), the Western Athletic Conference (1996-2004) and Conference USA (2005-present).

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