The Tigers will join the Big East with three other Conference USA members – Houston, SMU and UCF – for the 2013-14 school year. The Big East also will add Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members in 2013 and Navy in 2015.
Memphis will hold a press conference Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET in the Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame Assembly Room to officially announce the move to the Big East.
When contacted by CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish about the move to the Big East Monday, Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson declined comment.
While the addition of Memphis is for all sports, the Tigers' men's basketball program would help offset the future losses of men’s basketball powers Syracuse, West Virginia and Pittsburgh.
When Memphis joins the league, it’s unknown what the Big East’s football and basketball membership will consist of. That’s because West Virginia appears it will join the Big 12 this summer and will not honor the Big East’s 27-month exit requirement. However, both WVU and the Big East have filed lawsuits against each other and a Rhode Island judge ordered the parties into non-binding mediation with a deadline of Thursday.If West Virginia is allowed to leave early, sources told CBSSports.com that Pittsburgh and Syracuse also would try to leave for the ACC but not until 2013. Although sources said it’s “technically not too late” for Pitt and Syracuse to join the ACC for the 2012 season, the two schools will remain in the Big East in 2012, but would likely negotiate to join the ACC in 2013, a year ahead of schedule.
On Friday, the ACC announced that Pitt would compete in the Coastal Division and Syracuse in the Atlantic Division when it joins the ACC.
ACC commissioner John Swofford would not speculate whether his league would help Pitt and Syracuse financially to leave the Big East before 2014, but told CBSSports.com “our position continues to be that we want to prepare ourselves when they’re ready and it’s appropriate for them to join us.”
If Pitt and Syracuse leave in 2013, then the Big East could be left with 11 football members – Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Boise State, San Diego State and Memphis. Also the league would have 17 basketball members: Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Memphis, Notre Dame, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova, Providence and DePaul.