The Big East put out a release today announcing that Tulsa will become an all-sports member of the conference as of July 1st, 2014.
To clarify, Tulsa is not joining the Catholic 7, which will be splitting off from the Big East and bringing the name along with them. Tulsa is joining the remnants of that league, which will be headlined by the likes of UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis and South Florida.
Tulsa will be the 11th all-sports member in the conference, and when Navy joins as a football-only member in 2015, the soon-to-be-renamed Big East will have 12 teams and will be able to host a championship game.
From a basketball perspective, this isn’t a bad addition, as Tulsa has a reputation for being a program that can make tournament runs and launch coaching careers. Nolan Richardson, Tubby Smith, Bill Self and Buzz Peterson all can claim being the head coach of the Golden Hurricane on their current resume. Billy Gillispie, Flip Saunders, Kevin O’Neill, Tom Izzo and Mike Anderson have all been assistant coaches there. Currently, Danny Manning is the Tulsa head coach.
They haven’t been to the tournament in a decade, and few recruits know of the program’s relevance.
Will a move to a “bigger” league help?
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