Providence’s Big East could lose two schools

Posted 9/26/11

PROVIDENCE – The Big East Conference could lose both Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh, WPRI-TV reported on its website last week.

Both schools are eyeing a move to the Atlantic Coast Conference, which includes the University of North Carolina and Duke University. At least 10 schools have applied to join the ACC.

The Big East’s revenue totaled $113 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, WPRI said. That figure included $48.7 million made on tournaments and $36 million for broadcast rights.

Syracuse was a founding member of the conference in May 1979, joining with Providence College, St. John’s University and Georgetown University to form the Big East. Pittsburgh joined the league in 1982.

The nonprofit Providence-based athletic conference agreed to keep its headquarters in the city last year after then-Mayor David N. Cicilline helped find a new home at the Gateway Center, across from Providence Place.

The Big East is currently the largest Division I-A conference and includes 16 schools in the Northeast, Midwest and Florida. •

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