By Travis Morgan
OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., and Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen today announced the University has accepted an invitation to join the Big East Conference. The membership is effective July 1, 2013, with team competition set for the 2013-14 academic year.
"This rare opportunity caused us to examine closely Creighton's future and the future of other Division I conferences," Fr. Lannon said. "We have enjoyed our affiliation with the Missouri Valley Conference over the years, but when an exceptional opportunity presented itself, we paused and carefully considered our options. We see this new partnership enhancing the visibility of the University through increased national media exposure. This will positively impact our athletic programs, recruitment of students and faculty, and cultivation of additional philanthropic opportunities."
The Big East Conference division schools - Georgetown University, St. John's University, Villanova University, Providence College, Seton Hall University, Marquette University and DePaul University - made a bold step by returning the Big East to its roots as a basketball centric conference..
"I must say this whole process has been a very collegial and healthy process," Rasmussen said. "With the many great accomplishments that Creighton Athletics has achieved over a very long period of time and our current sustained success, I am confident this opportunity will result in Creighton becoming even more relevant in Division I athletics."
Additionally, the Big East invited Xavier University in Cincinnati and Butler University in Indianapolis to join the conference. The new athletic conference has announced that it will retain the Big East Conference name and hold the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.