STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — As of July 1, UConn’s return to the Big East Conference is official.
One of seven original members of the Big East, the Huskies competed as a Big East school for the first 34 years of the Conference’s existence, beginning in 1979-80 and continuing through the 2012-13 year.
UConn has had more than its share of success over more than three decades of Big East competition, including 80 conference championship titles across all sports.
The Huskies were especially successful in men’s and women’s basketball during their previous run in the conference. The men’s basketball program won 10 regular-season titles and seven Big East Tournament championships, in addition to national titles in 1999, 2004 and 2011.
The UConn women’s basketball program has been the gold standard in the sport, especially in Big East play. The Huskies won or shared 19 Big East regular-season titles and captured 18 Big East Tournament crowns, including 16 titles over a 19-year span (1994-2012). The women’s program also earned eight of their 11 national championships as a member of the conference.
UConn is dropping four sports programs in an effort to cut $10 million — about 25% — of the shool’s subsidy to the Division of Athletics.
It’s a long range plan as the university had to buy its way out of the American, plus pay a $3.5 million entry fee for the Big East.
It will help UConn recruit better players, which likely translates to more tickets sold, licensed items and concessions.
“You figure, to sell more tickets and spend less money to do it, that’s a formula to cut into your deficit,” said Dom Amore, Hartford Courant UConn basketball beat writer. “They have a big deficit, but that’s certainly a formula for reducing it.”