Big East : East Carolina applies for Big East admission

first_img Published on September 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjr East Carolina University has applied to join the Big East conference, the university announced Wednesday.ECU is the first school to formally announce its official application to the Big East since Syracuse and Pittsburgh accepted bids to join the Atlantic Coast Conference this past weekend.East Carolina, located in Greenville, N.C., is currently a member of the 12-team Conference USA. East Carolina Chancellor Steve Ballard and Athletics Director Terry Holland released a joint statement Wednesday.‘East Carolina University will always maintain a proactive approach in regards to positioning itself for future success, and the fluidity of current conference realignment possibilities is no exception,’ Ballard and Holland said in the statement.Reports from multiple media outlets on Wednesday said the Big East is looking into the service academies — Army, Navy and Air Force — as potential additions to the conference for football.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textECU, along with fellow C-USA member Central Florida, could be other possible targets.With Syracuse and Pittsburgh’s departure from the conference imminent, the Big East has been exploring its options for the future of the conference.Other bits and pieces of news regarding teams’ applications for conference expansion during the past couple days include:Villanova applied for membership in the ACC, the Orlando Sentinel reported. More than 10 teams applied to the ACC, said ACC Commissioner John Swofford during a teleconference Sunday. The Wildcats’ football program is currently in the Football Championship Subdivision.West Virginia was denied acceptance into the ACC and Southeastern Conference, according to a report from CBS Sports on Tuesday.Connecticut and Rutgers have been reported to be interested in the ACC. UConn President Susan Herbst released a statement Wednesday stating that she and the UConn administration will do what is in the university’s best interest with regard to expansion.So far, ECU is the only school that has ‘formalized’ its interest in the Big East by applying for membership.‘While we have formalized our interest in Big East conference membership as a viable option, ECU will remain focused on competing at the highest level through the efforts of Conference USA,’ Ballard and Holland said in the statement.East Carolina football saw resurgence in recent years, winning C-USA in 2008 and 2009 under current South Florida head coach Skip Holtz. ECU has produced marquee wins over Virginia Tech and North Carolina State in the past three years and advanced to five straight bowl games, although the Pirates have won just one.ECU also puts fans in the seats. The school was 44th among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in attendance last season, averaging 49,665 fans a game. That mark led the C-USA and filled 99.33 percent of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium’s 50,000-seat [email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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