Big East announces Memphis addition

The Big East has made it official: Memphis will join the conference for the 2013-14 season.

Here is the release. I will have more this afternoon.

The Big East Conference Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote of its Presidents, extended the invitation for membership to Memphis.

The addition of Memphis brings the Big East’s football membership to 12 schools. Ultimately, the Big East will have 17 full members. In December, the Big East announced the additions of the University of Central Florida, University of Houston and Southern Methodist University as full members and Boise State University and San Diego State University as football members. In January, the Naval Academy was added as a football member.

The addition of Memphis, along with the five schools announced in December and Navy, will boost the Big East’s television reach to more than 31 million homes, which is nearly 28 percent of all U.S. television households. Thirteen conference members will be located among the top 30 television markets and 17 will be in the top 50.

The Big East already had the largest media footprint in college athletics and the addition of Memphis makes that footprint even larger.

“Over the past decade, the University of Memphis has demonstrated an unwavering commitment of competing at the highest level in college sports,” said Big East commissioner John Marinatto. “The University has positioned itself for long-term success by upgrading facilities and investing wisely in various areas of the athletic department including coaching and administration. We are confident that the addition of this outstanding athletics program located in a top 50 media market and in the heart of the nation’s largest conference footprint will further propel the Big East and the University of Memphis to even greater levels of success in the future.”