Posted by Jerry Hinnen
With the league under siege following the surprise defections of Pitt and Syracuse, the Big East's presidents and athletic directors met in New York Tuesday night to plan the future of the conference. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy has all the pertinent details, including the potential for a revival of Navy or Air Force as possible football-only members
Following the meeting, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck released the following statement:
From a conference solidarity perspective, that sure beats Luck's previous statement on the topic, in which the Big East was most conspicuous only by its absence. That Luck is willing to discuss (and, one would assume, contribute to) the league's "strategy" to "recruit" new programs is a sign that for the time being, WVU is giving the Big East its best shot.
"President [James P.] Clements and I represented West Virginia University at last night's Big East meeting in New York. The group concluded the meeting with a strategy to recruit top level BCS-caliber institutions that match the league's strong athletic and academic histories and traditions.
"As I stated before, WVU is an excellent flagship, land-grant University, with national-caliber athletic and academic programs. We are, and will remain, a national player in college athletics.
"The conference office will coordinate any further discussion on this issue."
But that still doesn't mean that if the SEC or ACC decided to change its tune and listen to the Mountaineers' overtures for membership, WVU wouldn't pack its bags in a heartbeat. (As would any team in WVU's current position, of course, as the Panthers and Orange so comprehensively proved.) Note that Luck's new statement still doesn't bother to commit the school to the Big East for any length of time or in any fashion. It doesn't promote the Big East's "bright future" or "way forward" or any of the other buzzwords typically used in this situation to indicate that the Mountaineers are happy campers in their current digs.
Rest assured, WVU is still looking for a way out. But until that way out emerges, Luck and Clements will no doubt do their best with an awkward situation.