Student Well-Being

NCAA Conference Realignment Hurts High School Athletes

By Bryan Toporek — September 22, 2011 1 min read
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In case you haven’t been keeping up with your latest NCAA conference news: Within the last week, the existing conference framework of college athletics went “to the brink and back,” to put it mildly.

With uncertainty around conference alignment continuing to hover, high school athletes making their college decisions in the next few years may not quite know what they’re getting into when they commit.

The recent explosion started on Saturday, when news leaked that Syracuse University and Pittsburgh University were interested in leaving the Big East Conference in favor of joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. One day later, the ACC accepted Pittsburgh and Syracuse as members, deciding to expand to a 14-team league and leaving the Big East reeling.

Suddenly, the University of Connecticut expressed a strong desire to follow their Big East brethren to the ACC, on a day where ACC commissioner John Swofford told the media that he wasn’t philosophically opposed to expanding to a 16-team league. Rutgers University, another Big East member, has been rumored as a possible 16th member, as has the University of Notre Dame, which plays all sports except football in the Big East.

Then, news broke on late Sunday that the Pac-12 Conference was actively discussing taking the University of Texas, the University of Oklahoma, Texas Tech University, and Oklahoma State University away from the Big 12 Conference. At that point, a massive conference realignment appeared all but a certainty.

Within the past two days, the swords have been lowered as quickly as they were drawn. The Pac-12 announced late Tuesday that they wouldn’t be seeking further expansion at this point.

And ESPN reported Wednesday night that Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe would be stepping down from his position—a prerequisite for Oklahoma to remain in the conference, according to a report from

A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.