Big 12 rejects ECU expansion bid

Published 10:00 am Thursday, September 1, 2016

GREENVILLE – The Big 12 conference on Wednesday formally notified East Carolina University that the Pirates were no longer on the list of teams the conference is considering for expansion.

“While it is obviously not the decision we were hoping for, I am confident ECU put forth its best effort during this process,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Compher in a statement. “Our student-athletes, coaches and staff will continue to proudly compete for championships in the American Athletic Conference and we will represent our alumni and community with great resolve.”

Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby notified Compher and ECU Chancellor Dr. Cecil Staton of the decision.

“I am proud of the support Pirate Nation provided to our efforts,” said Chancellor Dr. Cecil Staton. “While I am disappointed by the decision, I remain undaunted in my commitment to ECU athletics and the excellence displayed by our wonderful student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

The Big 12 is hearing pitches from more than a dozen programs in a plan to expand. Reports indicate that the conference could add either two or four new teams to its current 10-team roster, currently headlined by Texas and Oklahoma.