The Big East Conference will soon have members spanning from the east coast to the west coast and everything in between. Despite being headquartered in Rhode Island and having their conference championship in New York, Commissioner Mike Aresco states the conference has no intentions of changing its name.
Aresco says that the namesake of the conference is far too important to be altered. ”There’s tremendous brand equity built up in the Big East name.”
At first it seems like this is strictly about money for Aresco and the Big East Conference. But when you look at it a bit more closely, he does have a point.
The Big East has been around since 1979, it is well over 30 years old. The main stays of the conference (teams that have been around from the very start) are St. John’s, along with Georgetown, UConn, Providence and Seton Hall. Just a year after its formation they added Villanova.
Now some of those conferences powerhouses are on their way out. Syracuse and Pittsburgh who were both in the conference for its inception will no longer be apart of the Big East.
Despite those leaving, this conference has a long and storied history. Those programs are ingrained into the Big East, and the schools have become synonymous with the conference name.
It is also important to note that some of these west and middle American schools are only switching conferences in football. The Big East covers 24 different sports, with its basketball teams predominately relegated to the east coast.
The schools coming in for basketball are Memphis, Temple, Houston, University of Central Florida, and Southern Methodist University. While it is near impossible to consider schools in Texas part of the east, the changes are not drastic enough to throw away the entire tradition of the conference.
While many may question why the conference that features teams from Texas and California is called the Big East, it is important to remember the history behind the name and not just where its members may reside.