Here we go.
The Big East should expand with ECU for football... and George Mason for basketball.
(Only posted because I want royalties for thinking it up. Unfortunately, I'm probably 20 hours too late.)
No no George Mason will be a Big East affliate. ;D
Affiliate, indeed has become a popular word on these boards and others, and often misused ;D.
CUSA uses the term affiliate on their website for men's soccer. They are the HOST conference for a group that includes 7 of their own members: SMU, UAB, Marshall, ECU, Memphis, Tulsa, and UCF. The three defined affiliates are the Universities of South Carolina and Kentucky (from the SEC), and Florida International (SunBelt). The reason is simple, not all of CUSA teams sponsor men's soccer, and the SEC doesn't.
The PAC 10 is a part of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation that sponsors competition in such sports as water polo, volleyball, men's soccer, indoor track and field, and women's gymnastics and lacrosse. In addition to PAC 10 schools, some of the other participants for various sports include BYU, Oklahoma, Pepperdine, Long Beach State, Seattle Pacific, UC Irvine, CS Northridge, and UC Davis. The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is listed within the PAC 10 official website.
The Army website and the Navy website do not identify themselves as affiliates with the Big East football or any other Big East sport whatsoever. They have Patriot League membership and are both fb independent.
The Big East website does identify Notre Dame as a member, but ND is not included in BE fb as any kind of named affiliate.
In college sports, using the CUSA example whereby they denote affiliates, it refers to schools from another conference(s)/independent, who participate in one or more particular sports in a given conference because their home/primary conference does not sponsor the given sport(s). The affiliates play a FULL slate of competition for the given sport(s) and are eligible to compete for the conference title of the sport(s) and are listed in conference standings for the sport(s).
The CUSA men's soccer website below shows S. Carolina, Kentucky, and FIU listed as affiliates:
(click men's soccer from the list; somehow the page was not coming up directly)