TCU's gone and held their official press conference confirming the report that the Horned Frogs are, in fact jumping ship from the Mountain West to the Big East for the 2012 athletics season. If you'd like to view the Q&A in its entirety, the full video is available on the university website. For the impatient, we've got pertinent tidbits from the official announcement:
• The trustees' decision to jump from mids to majors was unanimous.
• The official exit date for the Horned Frogs is July 1, 2012.
• Fun media numbers highlighting the business side of the decision:
In adding TCU and the nation's fifth-largest television market, the Big East Conference further strengthens its footprint on the national television scene. Big East markets already contained almost one-fourth of all television households in the United States. Big East institutions currently reside in nine of the nation's top-35 media markets.
• Of course, joining a conference they'll win every year from here to eternity AND get a guaranteed BCS bid has to be nice, too. Make room in the trophy case, facilities personnel:
"The Board of Trustees, along with TCU's administration, thoroughly examined the invitation and came to the conclusion that joining the Big East is the right move to make at this time," said Luther King, chair of TCU's Board of Trustees. "This University has a lot of momentum and joining the Big East will accelerate that momentum."
And though the geography of a trip to, say, Storrs is comparable to the distance between TCU and would-be conference-mate Boise State, if TCU's basketball program is het up about having to motor all the way over to the East Coast so many times per year, they have only one of their own to blame:
Pitt men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon and a TCU alumnus, confirmed that he did initiate contact between his alma mater and the Big East. Dixon was with Del Conte for a homecoming weekend against Baylor Sept. 18. Dixon and Del Conte spoke about how the Big East was going to need another football member. Dixon tested TCU's interest and then let Marinatto know of the Horned Frogs' desire to look at membership. Once TCU's football team rose in the BCS standings and the Big East struggled, the matter became a need for both parties.