According to Brett McMurphy and Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com, the Memphis Tigers appear to be in final negotiations to become the next member of the Big East Conference. In a move that should help off-set some of the basketball defections (Syracuse and Uconn), the Tigers would join as an all-sports member as soon as 2013. Here’s a quick excerpt and you can read the entire piece here.
Memphis and the Big East Conference are in the final stages of negotiations to make the Tigers an all-sports member of the Big East beginning in 2013, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.
The Tigers would join the Big East with three other Conference USA members – Houston, SMU and UCF – for the 2013-14 school year. The Big East also will add Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members in 2013 and Navy in 2015.
When contacted by CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish about the move to the Big East, Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson declined comment. An official announcement of the Tigers’ move to the Big East could be made as early as this week, sources said.
While the addition of Memphis is for all sports, the Tigers’ men’s basketball program would help the offset the future losses of men’s basketball powers Syracuse, West Virginia and Pittsburgh.
When Memphis joins the league, it’s unknown what the Big East’s football and basketball membership will consist of. That’s because West Virginia appears it will join the Big 12 this summer and will not honor the Big East’s 27-month exit requirement. However, both WVU and the Big East have filed lawsuits against each other and a Rhode Island judge ordered the parties into non-binding mediation with a deadline of Thursday.