Big 12 invites TCU to join conference

By Lauren Kirschman

The Big East could lose another member—and this one never even played a conference… The Big East could lose another member—and this one never even played a conference game.

The Big 12 Conference released a statement on Thursday its Board of Directors “upon a unanimous recommendation of its expansion subcommittee” decided to begin negotiations with Texas Christian University in order to make the school its 10th member.

The Horned Frogs agreed to join the Big East Conference in 2010, but wouldn’t have officially started playing in the conference until next season. TCU, who has called five conferences home in the last 16 years, is currently a member of the Mountain West Conference.

The news of TCU’s probable departure comes less than three weeks after Pitt and Syracuse announced their plan to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Big 12 release added that the Board of Directors authorized interim commissioner Chuck Neinas to begin talking with TCU.

TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. said in a statement that the potential move has “huge implications for TCU.”

“It will allow us to return to old rivalries, something our fans and others have been advocating for many years,” he said. “As always, we must consider what’s best for TCU and our student-athletes in this ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing these discussions with the Big 12.”

Texas Men’s Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds said in a statement that Texas is “proud that TCU has been invited to join the Big 12.”

“Their commitment to academics and success on the field make them an excellent fit,” he said. “With a solid budget and strong financial support, they have been proactive at improving facilities. Their close proximity to all conference institutions makes for a comfortable travel situation.”

With Pitt and Syracuse planning their departure from the Big East, and TCU likely announcing its move soon, the Big East will have just six remaining football schools: Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers and West Virginia.