The University of Houston has officially accepted an invitation to join The BIG EAST Conference and will enter the league as an all-sports partner for the 2013-14 academic year. With this exciting announcement, Houston Athletics has called for a "celebratory" press conference for Friday afternoon (Dec. 9) at 1 p.m. in the Moores Opera Center, located inside the Moores School of Music, across from the UH Athletics Alumni Center on Cullen Blvd.
Parking will be located in Lot 16 B, across from the School of Music (also directly across the street from the UH Baseball Stadium).
UH students, alumni and fans are encouraged to attend this event, which will officially begin UH's brand as a member of the BIG EAST. President Renu Khator, Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades and many others will be in attendance.
The University of Houston will also make another exciting campus-improvement announcement on Friday.
Statement from Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades
"This is a significant moment in our university's history, both on campus and within our athletics family. Since our arrival, the primary focus of our department has been to provide a first-class experience for our student-athletes, allowing them to compete at the highest levels and presenting our coaching staffs with increased resources. By becoming an all-sports member of the BIG EAST Conference, we have enhanced each of those opportunities today.
I certainly appreciate the work done by Commissioner John Marinatto and his staff and the leadership of Dr. Khator and our campus administration.
I also want to recognize everyone at Conference USA. We have shared a tremendous partnership with that league and look forward to another year of competition in 2012-13.
But for Cougar fans everywhere, this long-awaited day has finally arrived."
Statement from UH President Renu Khator
"We have had a vision of the University of Houston as a nationally competitive university in every field - research, student success and athletics. This affiliation gives us an opportunity to play in a nationally competitive environment and to show our talents on a national stage. This is a game-changer for us, and I know our students, fans and alumni will be as excited and energized as I am by this opportunity.
"The University of Houston is a dynamic Tier One campus filled with remarkable talent and accomplishment. This move to the Big East reflects our commitment to be nationally competitive and positions us at the forefront of athletic and academic achievement. We hope our students, fans and alumni will join us for a celebration of this grand achievement on Friday, as we thank the university community for its tremendous support. I am so proud and grateful for the community's enduring belief in our vision, and I look forward to sharing more exciting news about the University of Houston in the near future."