The University of Connecticut board of trustees voted Wednesday to approve the school’s move from the American Athletic Conference to the Big East Conference.
An official announcement is expected Thursday.
Under the agreement, all UConn sports except football will move to the Big East beginning with the 2020-21 academic year. Since the conference doesn’t support football, and the AAC reportedly won’t allow the Huskies as a football-only member, UConn must find another conference, play an independent schedule or drop down to the FCS level.
Big East school presidents gave their approval on Monday in a league conference call to invite and accept UConn as a member.
UConn was one of the founding members of the Big East, where it had a storied men’s basketball rivalry with Syracuse and the women’s basketball program became dominant. The conference was founded in 1979 but fell apart earlier this decade when a number of schools left to join Power Five conferences.
The old Big East folded into the AAC beginning with the 2013-14 school year, and UConn went along as a member. In its place, a new Big East assumed the name and started initially with seven non-football schools – all Catholic institutions — that had been in the original conference.
The Big East has 10 member schools, not including UConn, which include 2017-18 NCAA men’s basketball champion Villanova.
UConn has been seeking a return to the basketball-centered Big East, primarily for its men’s and women’s basketball programs. As Big East members, the men’s program won three NCAA titles (1999, 2004 and 2011) and eight in women’s basketball (1995, 2000, 2002-04, 2009-10 and 2013).
Both the men’s and women’s basketball coaches — Dan Hurley and Geno Auriemma — were in attendance on Wednesday.
UConn will have to pay at least $10 million as an exit fee to the AAC and will owe the Big East a $2.5 million entry fee, the Hartford Courant reported.