Another significant hurdle was cleared on Thursday, when the NCAA's Division I Board of Directors met and officially recognized the new Big East Conference as a Division I multisport conference, effective on August 1, 2013. The conference, founded by Villanova, Georgetown, Marquette, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall, DePaul, Xavier, Butler and Creighton, will launch for the 2013-14 academic and athletic year.
The Board similarly noted that the current Big East Conference would become the American Athletic Conference ("The American") on July 1, 2013, clearing the way for the new conference to adopt the Big East name. The American will retain the Big East's permanent seat on the Division I Board of Directors and their three votes.
The Board of Directors was established in 1997 and has 18 seats, representing 33 Division I conferences. Prior to that, the Division used a "one-school, one-vote" principle for approving legislation.
Unlike the Great West conference, the new Big East will have full member status in Division I upon its founding. The NCAA has therefore adjusted the voting weight for non-football conferences from 1.2 votes to 1.14 votes as the result of adding another conference in that category. Each of the Division I FBS conferences has three votes on the board and has a permanent seat, while the Division I FCS conferences hold four seats and non-football conferences share the other three.
FBS conferences are given disproportionate representation on the NCAA Division I Board right now. A resolution was passed by that board, however, to "do a thorough review of voting ratios and subdivision placement issues over the next 15 months."