UConn’s move to the Big East is becoming official.
The university’s board of trustees approved the school leaving the AAC for the Big East on Wednesday. Per the Hartford Courant, UConn could officially announce the move on Thursday.
“While we all appreciate the AAC,” interim board chairman Thomas Ritter said, “the board has made a decision that is best for the athletic [department]. At this time I support accepting the Big East’s invitation as the better overall fit that in my opinion is best for our student-athletes.”
"Make no mistake, we will still be committed to our football program," Ritter continued. "We will have options for football and decide on a pathway for a successful and exciting football program."
Multiple outlets, including Yahoo Sports, reported over the weekend that UConn was leaving the American for the Big East ahead of the 2020 sports seasons.
The move to the Big East leaves UConn’s football program in limbo. The school will play out the 2019 season in the AAC but would have eight games to fill in 2020 if it wanted to operate independent of a conference. The Big East does not sponsor football. While Villanova is a member of the Big East, its football team plays in the Colonial Athletic Association at the FCS level.
UConn will likely stay at college football’s top level, at least for the foreseeable future. UConn coach Randy Edsall released a statement about the move’s impact on the football program earlier Wednesday.
In life, leaders have to make decisions that they think is in the best interest of their company, organization, business and this situation, the University of Connecticut Athletic Department, The Board of Trustees, University Leadership and the Athletic Director made the decision that this was in the best interest of our 22 intercollegiate teams, hundreds of student athletes, fans and our future. With the decision, it leaves our football program in transition at this point in time but the Board of Trustees, University Leadership and Athletic Director will make the decision that they feel is best for our Football program moving forward.
As I told my TEAM … on Sunday afternoon, we have a schedule for 2019 and that is what we have been preparing for since January and they have been doing a great job of staying focused and not allowing any distractions to get in the way of our preparation and training. So this situation will not be a distraction to this TEAM.
All my focus and work has been on getting this program and facilities back to where we all want it regardless of WHERE WE PLAY OR WHO WE PLAY, so I’m leaving the decision up to the Board of Trustees, University Leadership and Athletic Director to find the best situation for our Football Program. Myself, my staff and my players will not address this situation in the future as our focus is all on the 2019 season which is right around the corner. So with that being said, we’ve moved on to Wagner College.
UConn’s football team was one of the worst in the nation in 2018. The Huskies were 1-11 and the defense gave up nearly nine yards per play to opposing offenses.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports
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