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Tag:Big East Expansion
Posted on: November 1, 2011 3:50 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Report: Garrett Gilbert transferring to SMU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert will transfer to SMU in January with plans to play football, according to a local report.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting the former Longhorns starter plans to enroll in school for the spring semester, and will be eligible to play for the Mustangs in 2013. Gilbert could potentially apply for a medical waiver for an extra year of eligibility after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery after just two games of action. Without the waiver, Gilbert will be a redshirt senior eligible for only the 2013 season.

Gilbert was 7-7 as a starting quarterback in Austin. His career started with a last-minute call to replace the injured Colt McCoy against Alabama in the National Championship game his freshman year. He started every game the following season, a disappointing 5-7 campaign for the defending Big 12 Champions. Gilbert lit up the stat sheet with 2,700 yards but his 10 touchdowns to 17 interceptions proved to be more harm than good for the Longhorns. Between the surgery and a new offensive coordinator appearing to hand the reigns to younger talent, Gilbert decided it was time to take his talents elsewhere.

Gilbert visited SMU practice a few weeks ago after declaring his intentions to leave Texas, and the Mustangs reportedly are comfortable with the idea of potentially only having Gilbert for the 2013 season.

The Mustangs find themselves in the news this week as they reportedly await the official invitation to join the Big East. John Marinatto announced the official approval from league presidents on Tuesday, and SMU is expected to accept the invitation to join the conference in all sports.

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Posted on: November 1, 2011 1:51 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 1:55 pm
 

Big East Presidents approve, extend invitations

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Tuesday, the Big East held their annual meeting of the school Presidents in Philadelphia. As expected, commissioner John Marinatto used the gathering as an opportunity to get the official votes from league members regarding the specific plan for conference expansion. After the meeting, Marinatto provided a veiled update on the league's plan and timetable regarding expansion and the exit process for West Virginia.

“Our Presidents voted unanimously to extend invitations to specific institutions, including both football-only and all-sport members to join the Big East Conference," Marinatto explained in his official statement.  "I will be speaking to representatives of those schools shortly and look forward to announcing with them their acceptance into the Big East. The addition of these members will extend our reach, bring us to exciting new markets, strengthen our status within the BCS, and lay the foundation for possible further expansion, all while maintaining the high quality and standards our Conference is known for.

“In light of the lawsuit filed by West Virginia yesterday, the Presidents also discussed and confirmed our continuing commitment to enforce the Conference’s 27-month notification period for schools choosing to leave. The Conference believes these claims to be wholly without merit and will explore all its legal options to protect its interests and to ensure that West Virginia lives up to its obligations.”

There are not too many surprises in this update, including the clarification that both football-only and all-sports invitations will be extended. Navy, Air Force, and Boise State are expected to be among the football-only invitations, while Conference USA schools UCF, Houston, and SMU have been awaiting official invitations to join in all sports since the 12-team football expansion plans began taking shape.

The real development in the statement is the league's plan to hold West Virginia to the 27-month withdrawal period. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy detailed West Virginia's lawsuit against the Big East hoping for an exit in time to compete in the Big 12 for the 2012-2013 academic year. In the Big 12's teleconference, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck explained that "our team is working with their team" to make it happen. Marinatto's statement on Tuesday suggests that this may be a more difficult process than the Mountaineers originally imagined.

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Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 6:44 pm
 

West Virginia expects July 2012 arrival in Big 12

Posted by Chip Patterson

West Virginia president James Clements made it very clear the way he felt when issuing his opening statements on the Big 12 Update teleconference.

"It's a great day to be a Mountaineer, and a great day to be a member of the Big 12 conference," Clements boasted to the media on the line. After a week filed with back and fort reports regarding their conference affiliation, West Virginia finally had a home.

When, exactly, the Mountaineers join the Big 12 is still unknown. Big East bylaws require a 27 month withdrawal period after the official notification from the departing school. Athletic director Oliver Luck confirmed he officially informed Big East commissioner John Marinatto of West Virginia's intentions on Friday morning.

Both Luck and Clements repeatedly used the target date "July 1, 2012" as the school's expected arrival in the Big 12. When multiple questions were posed to West Virginia's leadership on how they planned to leave before the completion 27-month period - the response was predictably vague.

"Our team and their team were in discussion today, tying to make that happen," Luck said of the negotiations with the Big East office.

As required in the bylaws, West Virginia has already paid $2.5 million - half of the $5 million exit fee - to the league offices along with their official notification of withdrawal. Luck and Clements were both confident in their ability to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012-2013 season, though there was no elaboration on the negotiations with the Big East.

West Virginia to the Big 12
Another important development from Friday's teleconference was the Big 12's announcement that the reported grant-in-rights was close to being approved by the member schools. The agreement, which was confirmed as a 6-year deal, is currently "being circulated" among the member schools with the expectation it will be approved in a Tuesday meeting.

The Big 12 announced that this would likely be a stopping point, for now, for expansion. Ten teams allows for a round-robin conference schedule, and "a true champion" to be crowned in the regular season. Missouri has not officially left the Big 12 as of Friday's call, but it was clear they did not expect the Tigers to be a conference member for much longer.

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Posted on: October 27, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Boise issues statement on meeting with Big East

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As reported by CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy Wednesday, Big East officials have pushed west to Boise State and Air Force in an effort to find the new members that would keep their endangered football league afloat.

Boise president Bob Kustra has now released a statement confirming those meetings and that Big East commissioner John Marinatto had offered a "presentation" on "what role Boise State could potentially play" in the league's expansion efforts. (In plain speak: Marinatto asked them to come aboard.)

Here's Kustra's statement in full:
“We had an informative meeting today with officials from the Big East Conference. Commissioner John Marinatto made a presentation regarding possible ideas for conference expansion and what role Boise State could potentially play in those plans. We appreciate the outreach on the part of the Big East Conference and will continue our due diligence in this matter.

“As we have indicated consistently, we will take our time in evaluating conference affiliation options and we will make an informed decision representing the best interests of the university. Boise State is a quality institution with an elite football program and a significant national brand identity. As a result, we are an extremely valuable partner when it comes to conference affiliation."
Where the Big East is concerned, we doubt anyone would argue with that last assumption.
Posted on: October 18, 2011 5:45 pm
 

Yankee Stadium could host Big East title game

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Don't look now, but this so-called "New York City" place might be on its way to mattering a bit in the world of college football.

That's the way New York Yankees president Randy Levine sees it, anyway. With Big East commissioner John Marinatto telling reporters that he would like his league to expand to 12 teams, schedule a championship game, and play it in the Big Apple, Levine was asked about his team's interest in hosting that title game.

He response? That he was "very" interested. With Marinatto already openly declaring "how great it would be" to have New York City be the site of the game, it seems the only thing holding the two parties back would be logistical details--and the game itself existing, of course, pending the conference's pursuit of what seems like half the FBS.

Even if still in the highly-speculative phase and years away from actually being held, a Big East championship game --even if just advanced to the concrete planning stage -- would further enhance Yankee Stadiums rapidly growing college football profile. Already home to the annual Pinstripe Bowl, the stadium played host to Army vs. Notre Dame in 2010 and will see the Black Knights take on Rutgers on Nov. 12 this season.

The city's never going to be Atlanta or South Bend or even, say, Miami. But making New York City the destination of choice for a revitalized 12-team Big East would make it something more than a little important for college football fans all the same.
Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Big East will discuss realignment Tuesday

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Big East conference invited media members to join Commissioner John Marinatto on a conference call Tuesday afternoon, the league announced on Monday. The release from the conference office stated the purpose of the call would be to discuss current information on Big East realignment. The call suggests Marinatto has an update regarding their efforts to replace Syracuse and Pittsburgh while pursuing a 12-team model for football.

As previously reported by CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, one of the challenges in attracting new members to the Big East has been an apparent lack of commitment by the six remaining football members. One of the highly contested topics reportedly of concern to potential members like Navy, Air Force, or Boise State has been the league's exit fees - currently around $5 million. It is believed that an agreement to increase the exit fees by the current members would display the stability needed to appear attractive to potential members.

On Monday afternoon, The Charleston Gazette reported that West Virginia is expected to vote in favor of raising the exit fees from $5 million to roughly $10 million. If the proposal passes during Monday evening's conference call, Marinatto should have some good news to report to the media on Tuesday. The league needs 11 of the 14 member schools to vote for a hike in fees in order to change the bylaws, and West Virginia's commitment could end up being a crucial piece to keeping the conference together.

The Mountaineers have been mentioned frequently during realignment talks as possible targets for the SEC or Big 12. Louisville, believed to be a candidate for the Big 12 if Missouri departs for the SEC, reportedly may sit out the call. If the Cardinals pull their vote from consideration, West Virginia's vote could end up being decisive in the exit fees proposal.

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Posted on: October 14, 2011 10:33 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 10:40 am
 

Report: Big East voting on exit fees Friday

Posted by Chip Patterson

As the Big East pursues a conference model that includes 12 football-playing schools, one obstacle that seems to be holding up the process is the league's exit fees. With an unknown future, the six remaining football schools have been noncommittal towards increasing the exit fees, which would make it more difficult to leave. At the same time, potential Big East targets such as Navy and Boise State would like to see some more commitment from the conference before joining.

According to a Sporting News report the conference has scheduled a call on Friday that would include a vote on "dramatically increasing the exit fee for universities wishing to leave for other conferences."
A source close to the league told Sporting News the meeting will ask schools to approve a change in the league bylaws that would require a school to pay three times its annual share of league television revenue in order to depart.

Under the league’s current deal, that would raise the buyout to between $15-17 million. If the league were able to gain a TV contract even close to the one it recently declined from ESPN -- $1.4 billion over 9 years – that escape clause would become even more substantial.
The report also includes a detail that Louisville may decline to participate in the call. The Cardinals have been the most realistic defector of the remaining six, as they have targeted as a potential replacement for MIssouri should the Tigers leave the Big 12. Louisville's vote is not needed to issue a change in the withdrawal fees, Big East bylaws require just a 75 percent vote for approval.

Until the exit fees are raised, it will be near impossible to convince other schools to join arguably the most volatile conference in FBS play. However, the addition of the service academies would be a big step forward towards securing the league's future. Once you get the service academies you can start working towards bringing in programs that would help maintain the Big East's status as a BCS automatic qualifier.

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Posted on: October 9, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Air Force AD: Interest 'high' in Big East

Posted by Chip Patterson

Following the news of TCU's plans to accept an invitation to join the Big 12, the presidents of the remaining Big East schools participated in a conference call Friday morning to discuss the league's future. Contrary to some reports no official decisions or announcements came from the meeting, but all signs point to the conference extending invitations to membership in the near future.

One of the schools frequently listed as a target for football is Air Force. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported that the conference was targeting Navy and Air Force before Syracuse and Pittsburgh bolted for the ACC. Even with the league now looking at only six football programs moving forward, Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh is still interested in the idea of joining the Big East.

"Our interest is high in the Big East. That's fair to say," Mueh told The Denver Post on Saturday. "This stuff is moving fast."

Mueh pointed out that his ideal scenario involves Air Force, Navy and Army all making the move to participating in the Big East for football, but there were no certainties in the discussions. The Falcons were listed by some as a possible target for Big 12 expansion after Texas and Oklahoma announced their intentions to stay in the league. Mueh confirmed on Saturday the school was approached by the Big 12, to which the AD said "no thanks."

"We were approached by the Big 12, and I told them we're not a good fit for that conference. In the Big 12, geography makes sense, the economics make sense, but the recruiting makes no sense for us. I can't recruit against Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State," Mueh explained.

"That's why I turned down the Big 12. I can't do that to my kids, because they'll get beat up. I'd love the extra $12 million or whatever it would be per year from the TV money. And I know how I'd spend the money. I'd build a new soccer stadium, and I'd build a new baseball facility, all in one year. But I can't do that."

Interesting take from the Air Force AD. He also said the Big East "absolutely" wants Army. But there are strong sentiments within the Army community that making the move to Big East conference play may be detrimental to the program in similar ways the Falcons were concerned about the Big East.

Action is expected from the league in the coming weeks regarding football expansion. In addition to the service academies, East Carolina, Central Florida, and Temple have been listed as candidates. The key for the league will be to find a program that fits with the other schools, while still maintaining the football success necessary to retain their automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com