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Big East plans to expand

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  October 14, 2011 06:07 PM

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After a long and extensive conference call this afternoon, the Big East came up with a plan to to extend invitations to Air Force, Boise State and Navy in football only and Central Florida, Houston and SMU as full members according to Big East sources.
The Big East's interest in Boise State was first reported in the Globe and Newark Star Ledger on Sunday.
Also approved was a plan to increase the exit fees from its current limit of $5 million to ten million.
But according to a Big East source, "nothing will happen this weekend'' because of a Big East by-law which requires a 72 hour period after any decision to allow the schools to digest the information which has been voted upon.'
The plan that was approved was extensive
If it is implimentedd, Air Force, Boise and UCF are expected to accept the offer with the possibility of Boise and Air Force joining the conference as soon as next season, while UCF, Houston and SMU are more likely to join the conference for the start of the 2013 season.
Also on the agenda was Temple. The debate over Temple revolved around whether to admit Owls, who were asked to leave the Big East in 2004, into the conference as a full member or only in football or a full member
. But Villanova, which has contemplated moving from the FCS to the FBS level, presented a strong argument and blocked the Owls entry.
If Navy chooses not to join, that could change. A Big East source said that Navy was not 100 percent committed but the Big East was optimistic that Navy would be part of the package.
If Navy backs out, Temple could again be in the mix.

Both Boise State and Air Force would move to the Western Athletic Conference in all other sports.
Invitations should be extended to the schools early next week with an announcement of the new configuration expected to be made in New York next Wednesday at Big East basketball media day.
The logistics of these moves is a complicated process since there could be a cross over period when the new schools begin Big East competition, while the two schools who announced last month they were moving to the ACC, work out the details of their departure. Big East officials have maintained that they will enforce the 27 month exit time table for any school that leaves, which means that the Big East football will keep its core group of 8 schools through the 2013 season.
It is possible that the Big East could expand to 12 teams next season, which would make the league eligible to conduct a championship game, which is regarded as potentially financially lucrative, a key asset for the league which also must negotiate a new television contract in the next several months.

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