The Big East moved quickly to replace Rutgers and braced for more possible departures, getting Tulane and East Carolina to agree to join the re-invented conference in 2014.
‘‘I would go as far as to say this is a historic day for Tulane University . . . the Big East is coming to the Big Easy,’’ school president Scott Cowen said Tuesday.
Tulane, in New Orleans, and East Carolina, in Greenville, N.C., will make it six Conference USA schools to join the Big East in the last two years.
Rutgers announced one week ago that it would leave the Big East for the Big Ten. Cowen and athletic director Rick Dickson said serious talks with the Big East began about a week ago.
Rutgers would like to join the Big Ten by 2014, along with Maryland, but the Scarlet Knights have left their departure date from the Big East ambiguous.
Conference bylaws require members to give the league notification of two years and three months before departing, but the Big East has negotiated early exits for Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia in the past year.
ACC sues Maryland
The Atlantic Coast Conference has filed a lawsuit against Maryland seeking full payment of the approximately $53 million exit fee for the school’s move to the Big Ten. According to the 10-page lawsuit, the ACC said the school must pay $52,266,342, which is three times the league’s annual operating budget for the 2012-13 season. The lawsuit also states that Maryland president Wallace D. Loh has ‘‘refused to provide assurance’’ that the school will pay the exit fee and ‘‘has made it clear that defendant Maryland does not intend to pay the amount.’’ . . . University of Connecticut president Susan Herbst says she is making the student-athlete her priority as she tries to navigate the school through the changing landscape of athletic conferences. Herbst declined comment when asked if UConn would leave the Big East for the ACC should an invitation be issued.
Stoops to Kentucky
Kentucky hired Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to coach the Wildcats.
Stoops replaces Joker Phillips, who was fired on Nov. 4. Phillips went 13-24 in three seasons at Kentucky. The Wildcats were 0-8 in the Southeastern Conference this season.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien on Tuesday was named the Big Ten’s coach of the year, earning accolades from fellow coaches and the sportswriters reporting on the conference.
O’Brien, then the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator, was hired earlier this year to replace Hall of Fame head coach Joe Paterno, who was fired last year in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against now imprisoned assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
O’Brien led the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record, going 6-2 in conference play. His eight wins are the most by a first-year Penn State coach.
Ole Miss fined
Mississippi has been fined $5,000 by the Southeastern Conference after fans rushed the field following the football team’s 41-24 victory over No. 25 Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl on Saturday. The win snapped the school’s three-game losing streak in the Egg Bowl and also made the Rebels bowl eligible for the first time since 2009 . . . Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley was placed on paid leave as the university investigates allegations that he may have been involved with an alleged bookie in Oklahoma City . . . Southern Mississippi fired football coach Ellis Johnson after one winless season.
Indiana 83, North Carolina 59 — Cody Zeller had 20 points and eight rebounds, leading the No. 1 Hoosiers to a stunning rout of the No. 14 Tar Heels in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in Bloomington, Ind.
Michigan 79, N.C. State 72 — Trey Burke had 18 points and 11 assists, and the No. 3 Wolverines held off a late rally by the No. 18 Wolfpack in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Colorado 85, Texas Southern 80 — Spencer Dinwiddie had 23 points and Josh Scott had 19 points and 12 rebounds to offset the 39-point effort by Omar Strong as the host No. 19 Buffaloes defeated the Tigers in double overtime.
Minnesota 77, Florida State 68 — Joe Coleman scored 16 points, Rodney Williams added 14, and the No. 21 Gophers beat defending ACC champion Seminoles in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Tallahassee, Fla.
Bucknell 62, Dartmouth 49 — Mike Muscala posted 17 points and 11 rebounds to help the Bison pull away and beat the Big Green for the third year in a row in Lewisburg, Pa.,
Providence 61, Holy Cross 42 — Bryce Cotton scored 17 of his 27 points after the break and his dominant second half powered the host Friars over the Crusaders.
Lehigh 77, Quinnipiac 66 — C.J. McCollum had 30 points and nine rebounds to spark the Mountain Hawks over the host Bobcats. Garvey Young led Quinnipiac with 16 points.
Baylor 89, Rice 49 — Brittney Griner scored a season-high 35 points and the third-ranked Lady Bears cruised past the Owls in Houston.
NU 80, Dartmouth 45 — Kashaia Cannon scored 19 points, A’lece Mark added 15 points, and Deanna Kerkhof scored 14 to lift the host Lady Huskies over the Big Green.
BU 54, URI 29 — Chantell Alford had 17 points, Mo Moran added 13, and Rashidat Agboola had 14 rebounds as the visiting Terriers routed the Rams.
Harvard 3, NU 1 — Jillian Dempsey had a goal and an assist and goalie Emerance Maschmeyer had 18 saves as the No. 6 Crimson defeated the host Huskies. Miye D’Oench and Kalley Armstrong also scored for Harvard. Katie MacSorley scored for Northeastern.