ESPN has obtained the letter UConn sent the Big 12 about conference membership.
Here it is:
Obtained copy of letter UConn's prez sent Big 12 on July 25 expressing the school’s “strong interest” in membership pic.twitter.com/02OfAKhGRn
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 24, 2016
The letter, dated July 25, expressed the university’s “strong interest” in joining the conference.
The president wrote:
“I look forward to meeting with you and other Big 12 officials to fully discuss our athletic and academic success. We are prepared to learn more about your criteria for evaluating potential members and to answer any questions pertaining to our commitment and ability to join the Big 12.”
During a July 19 Board of Directors meeting, officials of the Big 12 conference told Bowlsby to begin selecting potential options for expansion. As of now, UConn is one of many hopefuls, with schools such as Houston, Brigham Young, Cincinnati, Memphis, South Florida and numerous others.
The university released Herbst’s letter to the public in response to news organizations’ queries about discussion with the Big 12.
The Huskies have exceptional men’s and women’s basketball programs, earning them 21 NCAA championships. However, UConn remains in search of a more stable and beneficial conference for these acclaimed programs. The school has been out of the competitive and financially profitable loop for some time. That being said, the Big 12’s expansion is UConn’s best opportunity to leave the AAC.
However, the Big 12 will primarily consider applicants’ football value. True, UConn’s basketball prowess and strong academic profile certainly make for a strong argument in favor of the Huskies. But the lack of football may potentially limit its consideration considerably.