UConn is such a basketball school that it’s willing to orphan its football program to save its prized men’s and women’s basketball programs.
Over the weekend, reports emerged the Huskies are in the process of leaving the American Athletic Conference to return to the non-football Big East, with the plan for Husky football essentially being this: ????.
Given the program’s budget issues, swallowing their pride and returning to FCS may be the cheapest and most sensible option but, for a program with a Fiesta Bowl trip on its wall, dropping down a level would be like swallowing sandpaper.
Further reporting has shown the program has no interest in doing that. Further reporting has also shown the two conferences that make the most sense — the MAC and Conference USA — have no interest in adding the gridiron Huskies without their hardwood brothers and sisters coming along.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) June 22, 2019
The @UConnHuskies are not giving up on @UConnFootball (see below). Plan will be to go independent in ‘20-21 once rest of sports move to @BIGEAST. The hope is football can schedule regionally well, keep existing P5 H/H and a few one-way guarantees with goal being bowl eligible. https://t.co/qbnyCeCwjo
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) June 24, 2019
If and when the Huskies go independent, they would be the fourth such program to make a go of it this decade, joining BYU (who left the Mountain West after Utah joined the Pac-12), UMass (dumped by the MAC) and New Mexico State (ditto, by the Sun Belt). Idaho was given the boot alongside New Mexico State and chose to join the Big Sky Conference of FCS instead.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.