Dave Gavitt, the founder of the Big East Conference, passed away in 2011 and his great life and career will be honored in November of 2015 with a season-opening series between the Big East and Big Ten Conferences.
Dave Gavitt’s son, who is currently the NCAA Vice President of Men's Basketball Championships vocalized, "On behalf of the entire Gavitt family, we are humbled and grateful for this incredible honor in Dave's memory from the Big Ten and BIG EAST Conferences. My father would love the spirit of creativity and friendship that these games represent to tip off the college basketball season. He would be most excited about the competitive experience that the games offer to the players and coaches of two great conferences."
The games will start in the near future and will last eight years, being televised by ESPN, Fox Sports 1 and the Big Ten Network.
The Big Ten will be involved in the series because of their recent action in the east coast, with two of their new members (Rutgers and Maryland) located in the east region and their partnership with the Pinstripe Bowl which is at Yankee Stadium.
"We’re 24 institutions in 13 states," said Commissioner Jim Delany of the Big Ten Conference. "We’ve got great natural rivalries, and both of us are wanting to bind together two regions of the country for each of our conferences."
Dave Gavitt had a profound impact on basketball, not only by founding the Big East, but by developing the idea of the "Dream Team," serving as the CEO of the Boston Celtics and President of the NCAA Foundation.
Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman stated, "We look forward to partnering with the Big Ten to stage a new series of basketball games among our schools and to pay homage to Dave Gavitt, the BIG EAST's founder, who was an inspiration to many of us and one of the most impactful contributors in the sport of basketball. We have natural connections with the Big Ten through our shared geographic regions, and these competitions promise some exciting new rivalries for our players, coaches and alumni. With March Madness, college basketball always ends with a flourish, and the Gavitt Tipoff Games will allow us to open the season with a bang as well."