Four years after their ugly breakup, UConn and its former conference, the Big East, may be mulling a reunion.
According to a report from Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports, the conference is interested in taking the Huskies back for every sport except football, which the conference doesn’t support at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
If the Huskies were to rejoin the Big East, the league would expand to 20 conference games for women’s and men’s basketball, mirroring a move the ACC plans to at the start of the 2019-20 season.
UConn is currently a member of the Big East in field hockey and women’s lacrosse. The Huskies have been members of the American Athletic Conference in every other sport except hockey since the start of 2013-14 academic year after the Catholic Seven—composed of DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall and Villanova—left the original conference following the departure of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame to ACC.
Following Rothstein’s report, UConn athletic director David Benedict denied the rumor, according to a tweet from Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant. Big East spokesman John Paquette shot down the report as well.
On top of official denial, UConn AD David Benedict emphatically says there is been no talks with the Big East.— Jeff Jacobs (@jacobscourant) February 15, 2017
But if the Huskies do truly have interest in joining the Big East, UConn will have to find a home for its football team on top of paying a $10 million exit fee to leave the American. While it’s possible the Huskies could remain in the American as a football-only member, it’s highly unlikely. Other options include joining another Group of Five conference willing to take UConn as a football-only member like MAC or playing as an independent.