By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer
To some, the University of Cincinnati's decision to join the Big East Conference in 2005 was the greatest development in regional college sports in a lifetime.
And to others, well, it was just another warm fall day on campus.
For excited alumni, the ballroom at Kingsgate Conference Center on Tuesday looked more like a pep rally when more than 200 people gathered to hear the official announcement that UC will leave Conference USA for the higher-profile Big East.
Tom Kinder Jr. had questioned whether the quality of UC's competition was worth the expense of season tickets. This move changed his mind.
"I wouldn't have renewed my season tickets unless UC entered the Big East," the Anderson Township resident said.
Alumni chatted via e-mail about the potential for increased recognition of academic programs and non-revenue sports - and, of course, the greater ability to watch their beloved Bearcats more regularly on television.
On campus, sophomore Kristen Allen wondered about all the hype.
"I think any conference is fine," the Montgomery native said. "... I care about getting keynote speakers and entertainers on campus."
But for UC student Matt Hanke, who has missed only one men's basketball game at Shoemaker Center since it was built, it was a dream come true.
"Now, we will bring in the talent to turn the prep football hotbed of Greater Cincinnati into one of the best universities in the nation," the Eastgate resident said.
"Ohio State, what? It's all about the red and black."
U.C. JOINS BIG EAST CONFERENCE
Big time beckons as UC joins Big East
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What do you think about UC joining the Big East?
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A history of the Big East
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Switch will raise profile, revenue
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Upbeat Rose keeps talking
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Playoffs can follow expansion quickly
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Miami 33, No. 15 BGSU 10
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ON THE AIR
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