OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., and Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen today announced the University has accepted an invitation to join the Big East Conference. The membership is effective July 1, 2013, with team competition set for the 2013-14 academic year.
"This rare opportunity caused us to examine closely Creighton's future and the future of other Division I conferences," Fr. Lannon said. "We have enjoyed our affiliation with the Missouri Valley Conference over the years, but when an exceptional opportunity presented itself, we paused and carefully considered our options. We see this new partnership enhancing the visibility of the University through increased national media exposure. This will positively impact our athletic programs, recruitment of students and faculty, and cultivation of additional philanthropic opportunities."
The Big East Conference division schools - Georgetown University, St. John's University, Villanova University, Providence College, Seton Hall University, Marquette University and DePaul University - made a bold step by returning the Big East to its roots as a basketball centric conference..
"I must say this whole process has been a very collegial and healthy process," Rasmussen said. "With the many great accomplishments that Creighton Athletics has achieved over a very long period of time and our current sustained success, I am confident this opportunity will result in Creighton becoming even more relevant in Division I athletics."
Additionally, the Big East invited Xavier University in Cincinnati and Butler University in Indianapolis to join the conference. The new athletic conference has announced that it will retain the Big East Conference name and hold the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Creighton University at a glance
Located in Omaha, Nebraska.
Founded in 1878 and one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, Creighton is a vibrant and diverse learning community.
Nationally recognized for providing a challenging and balanced educational experience, the University offers a rigorous academic agenda with a broad range of disciplines, providing more than 7,700 undergraduate, graduate and professional students with degree programs
In addition to the College of Arts and Sciences, which enrolls 22 percent of the University's students, Creighton schools and colleges include the College of Business, Graduate School, and Schools of Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Health Professions and University College.
Creighton participates in 14 NCAA Division I sports. The athletic teams are as strong on the court and field as they are in the classroom. Creighton student-athletes had a GPA of 3.37 in the spring of 2012 and the University's athletic teams have been honored by the MVC and NCAA with numerous academic awards.
The Creighton men's basketball team has won 20 or more games in 13 of the past 14 seasons and made 15 straight postseason appearances. Creighton is the only school in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) history to attract more than 200,000 fans in a season (and has done so seven times) and in 2008-2009 became the first to surpass 300,000. The team plays its home games just six blocks from campus at CenturyLink Center Omaha, across the street from the new home of Creighton baseball and the Men's College World Series, TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
More than 60,000 Creighton alumni live in 87 countries. Thirty percent live in Nebraska. The largest numbers of alumni who live outside the United States reside in Canada, Japan and Malaysia.
Follow @gocreighton on Twitter for breaking athletic news, updates and announcements from Creighton University.
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