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SBD/November 2, 2011/Colleges
Big East Officials Meet, Give Commissioner Green Light To Invite New Members
Published November 2, 2011
COMMISSIONER'S DOZEN: Marinatto said that he “hoped to expand the conference to 12 teams in football.” He said that that “would enable the league to have a championship game and perhaps a western division.” The timetable for expansion “is unclear, but Marinatto was hoping to add members over the next week” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/2). In N.Y., Lenn Robbins notes the league “will have to add at least one more member to get to the desired 12 in football.” Sources said that “the league will not rush on the last invite.” Temple and Memphis “are candidates” and sources said that the Big East “has considered Army and BYU, although both are considered long shots” (N.Y. POST, 11/2).
POTENTIAL HOLD UP: In Boise, Brian Murphy reports if Boise State makes a BCS game at the end of the season “it could cost them up to $21 million to exit the Mountain West” for the '12 football season. The school would pay “far less to get out of the league” in ’13. Meanwhile, C-USA Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs Courtney Morrison-Archer said that according to conference bylaws, UCF, SMU and Houston “would not be able to compete in the Big East until 2013.” Those teams would “have to pay a $500,000 exit fee and relinquish about $6.13 million in television revenue” (IDAHO STATESMAN, 11/2). In Dallas, Kate Hairopoulos cites a source as saying that while the Big East “is weakened by its recent losses, it still has a viable future because a lucrative television contract is expected no matter the new line up of schools.” Negotiations begin “within the year in a competitive market.” SMU could receive “a raise of $10 million or more annually from the less than $1.5 million in TV money it currently receives from C-USA” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/2).
MAKING A BASKETBALL CONFERENCE CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL: SportsNet N.Y.'s Don MacPherson called the Big East a "strange conference," as the league has to "keep the basketball schools happy, and yet at the same time football is driving the bus on all of this realignment." There are a "lot of people who believe that the Big East, at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day, is a basketball conference." MacPherson: "Can you just imagine Central Florida playing Boise for the Big East championship? That is just not a Big East championship.” The N.Y. Daily News' Frank Isola said, "The majority of people look at the Big East as a basketball conference. I don't think they look at it as a football conference because if you put a gun to someone's head and say, ‘Name all of the Big East football schools,’ they wouldn't know.” WFAN-AM’s Joe Benigno: “There’s no sex appeal for a Big East football conference anyway, even when they had everybody together” (“Daily News Live,” SportsNet N.Y., 11/1).