The New York Times tells the history of the Big East in the context of college football's popular explosion, centering around a moment when founder Dave Gavitt tried to shore up the league by bringing on Penn State football:â†µ
Gavitt thought the conference needed to bring Penn State into the fold. Penn State was an independent at the time, looking for the security of a conference.â†µ
The membership voted no, with St. John's, Villanova and Georgetown leading the resistance. At the end of the meeting, Gavitt asked [Mike] Tranghese what he thought about the decision. "I said, ‘We will all rue the day about this decision,' " Tranghese said.â†µ
It's quite a long way from Penn State to San Diego State.