Blog Entry

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

Posted on: March 7, 2012 10:38 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 7:23 pm

Temple’s football program is returning to the Big East this fall, sources told

The Big East’s presidents voted Wednesday morning to add the Owls as all-sports members, but only Temple’s football program will join in 2012. The Owls’ Olympic sports won’t join the Big East until a year later for the 2013-14 school year.

The Big East officially announced Temple's move in a Wednesday press conference.

A source told that the Big East will pay for the Owls' $7 million in exit fees. Temple must pay the Mid-American Conference $6 million and the Atlantic 10 $1 million.

Temple was an original member of the Big East’s football conference from 1991-2004 until it was dismissed from the league for not being competitive and unable to meet certain financial requirements.

The Big East already had received a commitment from Temple that the Owls would join the Big East in football in 2012, sources told last week. But the Big East had its presidents formally rubberstamp it in Wednesday’s meeting in New York.

After Temple’s dismissal from the Big East, the Owls were an independent for two seasons before joining the Mid-American Conference in 2007. Temple will pay the MAC $6 million to leave with less than one year's notice. The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that amount, which is more than double what MAC by-laws require teams to pay ($2.5 million) with two year’s notice.

Temple also must pay the Atlantic 10, where its Olympic sports compete, $1 million to leave after next season. It would have cost $2 million to leave before this season.

The addition of Temple was crucial for the Big East which needed an eighth football program to replace West Virginia, which joins the Big 12 this summer. Without West Virginia, the Big East’s teams would have had only six conference games each. With Temple, each Big East team will have seven league games – as it has since 2005.

If the Owls take West Virginia’s place on the Big East schedule, the Owls will have Big East home games against Syracuse, Rutgers, Cincinnati and South Florida and league road games at UConn, Pittsburgh and Louisville. The Big East's football schedule should be released in the coming days.

The Big East initially wanted Boise State, which will join the league in 2013, to join the Big East in 2012. However, the Broncos could not afford to pay the approximate $10 million in exit fees to leave the Mountain West and WAC early and the Big East was not willing to pay for the Broncos’ early move, sources told

The addition of Temple, which shares its home stadium at Lincoln Financial Field with the Philadelphia Eagles, gives the Big East three teams that play their home games in an NFL stadium. The others are Pittsburgh/Pittsburgh Steelers and South Florida/Tampa Bay Bucs.

With Temple on board in 2012, the Big East’s football membership this fall will consist of Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse and Temple. The 15-team basketball membership in 2012-13 will consist of: Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova.

The reason Temple's Olympic sports didn't join the Big East until 2013 was for logistical reasons.

"We're using the current year as a transition year in order to analyze what we can by hiring a consultant to explore how we can best exploit the marketplace moving forward," Big East commissioner John Marinatto said. "And as I said earlier, to retain each school's individual identity, a brand that Villanova has worked on for over three decades with the Big East and how to incorporate and associate that with Temple.

"So for the next 12 months, what we're going to do is with the two institutions, the conference's initiative, explore how we best move forward in order to ensure that we accomplish that because it's in the best interest of the conference obviously for the two schools to coexist in a very, very positive way, and one of the things we want to do is ensure that's the case by doing this."

The league will look much different in the 2013-14 school year. The football league could consist of up to 14 schools: Boise State, Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Diego State, SMU, South Florida, Syracuse, Temple and UCF. However, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, who are scheduled to leave for the ACC in 2014, want to exit the Big East in 2013. If they do leave early, it would drop the football membership to 12 schools.

If Pittsburgh and Syracuse remain in the Big East until 2014, the Big East's basketball league in 2013-14 would consist of 20 teams: Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, SMU, Syracuse, Temple, UCF, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova. That number would be reduced to 18 basketball members if Pittsburgh and Syracuse left early.

Also, Navy will join the Big East as a football-only member in 2015.


Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:13 am

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

So Temple steps in and takes West Virginia's conference schedule.  How pathetic.  The Big East has sunk to new lows.  They have to pay a team that they kicked out of the conference to return to the conference.  Net season they will have 8 teams from non AQ Conferences join them, and only 4 teams from last year's Big East left.  If the Big 12 raids the Big East and takes Louisville and Cincinnati (two formeer non AQ teams), then the Big East will be down to two AQ teams.  That is pathetic.  The Big East football program is nothing more than a non AQ FBS Conference.  This really has gone far enough.

Since: May 21, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:30 am

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

How about Conference USA? Oh, that's taken? Maybe the Four Corners Conference?

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:03 am

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

The Big East has been an untendable league since it decided to form a football league.  It should have left well enough alone and just stuck to basketball.

Temple?  After they've already been kicked out once?  Smacks of desperation.  Then again going all the way out to California & Idaho to bring in members may be even worse.  How long does this current marriage work?  The BE is pending its hopes on a 1-AA team taking the step to D-1 & going directly into an AQ conference in 2015?  Wow.

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 8:45 am

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

So Temple is the team that saves the Big East BCS bid this year, classic.  An original Big East member that got thrown out partly because of not being competitive but more so because they wouldn't commit to bringing their other sports from the A-10 to the Big East.  Even in those days the Big East was seeking to construct the type of basketball conference they have had for the last few years and John Chaneys Temple program was onre they wanted and when he wouldn't leave the A-10 Temple got bounced.  I guess it's fitting to come now that the Big East is going to be a lot less scary, take a lesson from Notre Dame all this football expansion to the elite conferences and nobody is calling them anymore. 

Since: Jan 30, 2010
Posted on: March 8, 2012 8:20 am

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

All FBS conferences get some money from the BCS. That's why Air Force is left out; they're already in the Mountain West. I don't know what the figure is, but it is much more than the FCS conferences get.

Do you REALLY think the BCS would give money to FCS conferences and not the non-AQ FBS conferences? Really?

Obviously, when a team from a non-AQ conference gets to a BCS game, that payment skyrockets.

Another reason I'll be happy when the AQ goes away, if it does. The tradeoff likely will be fairer distribution of moneys in exchange for the best teams getting to BCS games regardless of how many are from a conference. That will make all of the presidents happy, if not all of the football coaches.

Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:30 am

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

In the press conf the last question was about Navy coming in 2015 and Meatball Marinara said they are looking for a 14th member for then that would be a western team, he also said in a different question that Villanova Football is still being worked towards being moved up, really there looking for 2 west schools in 2015 to join Navy and Nova.

Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:03 pm

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

The Big East is moving forward. In many ways this "New" Big East is much improved over what it is now as a football conference. Having only 8 members is very difficult to consistently be competitive with conferences that have 10-12. 

Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:00 pm

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

Something like a Big East - Big West Big East or a Big Conference East and West. Something like that. Did you go to a Big E school?

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2012 10:42 pm

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

"There is nothing more important to Notre Dame than their football independence. If the Big East booted them, they would take their Olmpic sports to the A10 because football reigns absolutely supreme there and the other sports are just afterthoughts."

midniterider............ That's exactly what NOTRE DAME needs to do is get out of the BIG EAST Football equation, and go to the A10 in other OLYMPIC SPORTS, if that's what they want to do.  But I would disagree with you about their Men and Women's Basketball programs being in the A10.
NOTRE DAME puts more emphasis these days on their basketball programs, than having them in the A10.  

All I am saying, is NOTRE DAME has prostituted the BIG EAST for too many years with favortism to their Football Bowl preference, at the expense of the other BIG EAST football schools.  This NOTRE DAME favoritism, is one of the reasons 6 of the BIG EAST original football charter members have left the conference for the ACC or BIGXII. If NOTRE DAME wants to take their other sports to the A10 and remain as an Independent, that's fine, that their decision to make.  But the BIG EAST needs to get NOTRE DAME out of the football equation as quickly as possible, due to the fact this cancer is unfair to the other conference football teams. (MIAMI, VIRGINIA TECH, BC, PITT, WVU, SYRACUSE were SIX of the original Charter Members of the BIG EAST FOOTBALL Conference, and they are gone).  

Since: Oct 14, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 10:06 pm

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

Adding Temple (and Memphis for that matter) wasn't about football (although having another football school for 2012 is convenient).  It was about insuring that the football schools have a conference with a respectable basketball reputation when they defect from the Catholic schools.  Assuming the Catholic schools keep the name Big East, does anyone have thoughts for the name of the new conference formed by the football schools?

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