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

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

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

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 CBSSports.com 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 CBSSports.com 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 CBSSports.com.

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.



Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:13 pm
 

SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

While Thursday’s release of the Sun Belt’s 2012 football schedule didn’t bring as much fanfare as the SEC or Big 12 schedule release, it did give us a chance to look at which other conferences love the Sun Belt. Specifically which of the other 10 FBS conferences love playing against the Sun Belt.

And no one loves playing/beating the Sun Belt more than the SEC, especially Mississippi State.

Three of the Bulldogs' four non-conference games are against Sun Belt members Troy, South Alabama and Middle Tennessee. Their fourth non-conference game is against FCS member Jackson State. I guess there were no Division III teams available that week.

Anyway, Mississippi State is among nine SEC schools that will play Sun Belt schools this fall in a total of 12 non-conference games. The only SEC schools without a Sun Belt team on the schedule is Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Defending national champion Alabama’s schedule features two Sun Belt opponents: Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic.

After the SEC, Conference USA has the most schools (six) playing Sun Belt opponents with a total of eight games.

Mississippi State is one of five schools with multiple Sun Belt opponents. Alabama, Memphis, Tulane and Navy each have two Sun Belt non-conference games.

The only FBS league that isn’t playing the Sun Belt is the WAC.

Last year, the Sun Belt was only 10-25 in non-conference games against FBS opponents, including a 1-2 bowl record.

Conference (games vs. Sun Belt)

ACC (3):
Duke, Georgia Tech, N.C. State
Big East (1):
Louisville
Big 10 (1):
Nebraska
Big 12 (3):
Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State
C-USA (6):
Houston, Memphis 2, Southern Miss, Tulane 2, UAB, UCF
Independents (1):
Navy 2
MAC (1):
Akron
Mountain West (1):
Hawaii
SEC (9):
Alabama 2, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State 3, Tennessee
Pac-12 (1):
Oregon
WAC (0)

Posted on: February 28, 2012 5:30 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 5:33 pm
 

Report: Temple to discuss Big East invite

Temple's Board of Trustees will meet via conference call Wednesday afternoon in which they could accept an invitation to become an all sports member of the Big East Conference, CSNPhilly.com reported.

Last week, CBSSports.com reported Temple would likely join the Big East in 2012 in all sports and an announcement could happen as early as this week.

Temple currently is a football member in the Mid-American Conference and the Owls' Olympic sports are members of the Atlantic 10. It would cost Temple $2 million to leave the Atlantic 10 with less than one year's notice and at least $2.5 million to leave the MAC, sources told CBSSports.com

"This (board meeting) is driven by the 2012 football schedule," Patrick J. O’Connor, Chairman of Temple’s Board of Trustees told CSNPhilly.com. "Because of that, decisions have to be made. There are time considerations."

That's because the Big East desperately needs a replacement for West Virginia on the 2012 football schedule. West Virginia agreed on a $20 million settlement with the Big East to leave for the Big 12, but the Big East was unwilling to pay Boise State's approximate $10 million in exit fees to leave the Mountain West and WAC a year early. Boise State was unable to pay that amount as well, so the Big East then turned its attention to Temple.

The Owls would give the Big East eight football members and 16 basketball members in 2012. School officials were miffed last month when the Big East extended an invitation to Memphis and not Temple. The Owls were Big East football members from 1991-2004 before being dismissed from the league for not being competitive and not meeting certain financial requirements.

"I think we were a natural choice to join the Big East months ago," O'Connor told CSNPhilly.com. "It baffles me that they let in some of the schools they did before Temple."
    
O'Connor added that Temple would only make the move to the Big East "if it (financially) is a net positive, we’ll do it. We’re not going to spend money to lose money.

"The Board’s job is to make a decision that impacts all of Temple’s students," O'Connor told CSNPhilly.com. "It will affect where we are (athletically) over the next five to 10 years. It’s a matter of where we want to be. We have two world-class coaches in football (Steve Addazio) and men’s basketball (Fran Dunphy) and they belong on a national stage."

Posted on: February 14, 2012 8:46 am
 

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

Although West Virginia is bolting from the Big East early, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will not leave the Big East this fall for the Atlantic Coast Conference, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were scheduled to leave the Big East in 2014, but the Mountaineers filed a lawsuit to exit early. CBSSports.com reported last week that West Virginia and the Big East reached a verbal agreement that would pay the Big East $20 million and resolve the issues between the two parties, allowing the Mountaineers to join the Big 12 on July 1. 

Sources told CBSSports.com that Pittsburgh and Syracuse won’t try to leave this summer, but will attempt to negotiate deals to allow them to join the ACC a year early in 2013. Unlike West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse have not pursued any legal action to get out of the Big East’s 27-month exit requirement and leave before 2014.

The main reason Pittsburgh and Syracuse are not trying to leave the Big East this season is both schools don’t want to be “any more disruptive to the Big East” for the coming season. If Pittsburgh and Syracuse left for the ACC this summer, the Big East could be down to only five football members.

Another reason, Pittsburgh and Syracuse aren’t trying to join the ACC this fall, is because the ACC doesn’t desperately need the teams to fill out this year’s league schedule, like the Big 12 needed West Virginia to replace Missouri in its 2012 schedule.

With West Virginia paying $20 million to leave the Big East two years early, Pittsburgh and Syracuse each would likely have been required to pay the same amount to leave this summer. Also by waiting until 2013, they likely can negotiate a deal to only pay $10 million – double the $5 they initially paid when they announced they were leaving. That $10 million figure is the Big East’s current exit fee since Navy announced it was joining the league last month.

Finally the timing of a move in 2013 for Pittsburgh and Syracuse also would make more sense logistically since that’s when the Big East will be adding six members – Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF.

In December, Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said his school would honor the Big East’s 27-month exit agreement, but indicated the Orange preferred to leave sooner.

“We’re just open to seeing what happens,” Gross told CBSSports.com two months ago. “They (the Big East) are starting to put together what the new Big East will look like. As they go forward to put together new multi-media deals, they’re going to need us to move out of the way. We’re waiting for that.”

Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said repeatedly that West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse would not be allowed to exit the league until 2014.

Two weeks ago, when the ACC announced that Pittsburgh would compete in the ACC’s Coastal Division and Syracuse in the ACC’s Atlantic Division when they officially join the league, ACC commissioner John Swofford would not speculate whether the ACC would help Pitt and Syracuse financially to leave the Big East before 2014.

“The fact we made our decision how we will schedule and compete certainly helps us (when they join),” Swofford said. “In terms of when that time may come, I don’t want to get into a hypothetical of this or that. Our position continues to be that we want to prepare ourselves when they’re ready and it’s appropriate for them to join us.”

That won’t be this summer, but the ACC won’t have to wait until 2014 either.



Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:26 pm
 

Boise State still possibility to Big East in 2012

Boise State has had discussions with the Western Athletic Conference to determine if its Olympic sports teams could join the WAC in 2012 in case the Broncos’ football program joins the Big East this fall, sources told CBSSports.com.

“The Big East has been pushing them ‘quietly’ to join for 2012,” a source said. “The WAC has had to rearrange lots of [its Olympic sports] schedules [in anticipation of the possible move].”

Boise State, along with San Diego State, Houston, SMU, UCF and Memphis, will join the Big East in 2013. However, the Big East desperately needs a replacement this fall for West Virginia, which is leaving for the Big 12. Because of West Virginia’s departure to the Big 12, the remaining seven Big East members would each need another game. The early addition of Boise State would fill that void.

Boise State president Bob Kustra recently said it’s “too late” for the Broncos’ football program to join the Big East this fall, but multiple college football industry sources are skeptical. Boise State's non-football or Olympic sports programs will compete in the WAC.

“Boise State still hasn’t ruled out coming to the Big East early,” a source said.

Two other sources told CBSSports.com they believe Boise State will play in the Big East in 2012.

One reason is the Mountain West’s by-laws allow a school to leave early if a penalty is paid. If Boise State joined the Big East this fall, the Broncos’ would forfeit their final year of revenue in the MWC and pay double the amount of the final year’s revenue, meaning their “exit fee” would be determined by how successful they were in the MWC during the 2011-12 academic year.

So if Boise State joined the Big East for this fall it would owe the Mountain West about $8 million to $9 million.

On Friday, Kustra told the Idaho Statesman he thought it was too late to make a move for the Big East for the 2012-13 school year.

“I can't imagine how anyone can pull that off,” Kustra said. “We would never want to pull it off in a fashion that dealt shabbily with our existing partners in the Mountain West. I don't think that could ever work.”

CBSSports.com reported that West Virginia officials had contacted Big East future members to see if one could join the league a year early, which would reduce the amount of financial hardship to the league and also likely reduce the amount of West Virginia’s settlement with the league.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto was asked Wednesday if the Big East had contacted any schools about joining early in 2012 and if the league would help a school pay for its exit fees to leave early.

“The question is related to the impending litigation we're involved in on two fronts,” Marinatto said. “It would be inappropriate for me to get into specifics about all of that at this point. I'm going to not talk about that specifically.”
Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 9:15 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

West Virginia and the Big East Conference are nearing agreement on a settlement worth at least $20 million that would resolve all issues between both parties, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The Mountaineers will join the Big 12 for the 2012-13 school year. However, in a bizarre twist, sources told CBSSports.com that West Virginia officials have contacted future Big East members to see if one could join in 2012 instead of 2013.

The reason is that with West Virginia’s departure to the Big 12, the Big East will be left with only seven football members this fall. Without an immediate replacement for West Virginia, the remaining Big East schools will be scrambling to find a 12th opponent. It’s unknown why West Virginia would assist a league that WVU athletic director Oliver Luck compared to “a ship … seriously going down,” except that it could lower West Virginia’s buyout, sources said.

Luck did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Despite lawsuits filed by West Virginia and the Big East, West Virginia still plans to join the Big 12 this year. The Big 12 has already sent its 2012 schedule, with West Virginia on it, to its television partners and is expected to publicly release the schedule this week.

While WVU has always planned to join in 2012, Big East commissioner John Marinatto has stated on multiple occasions, including Wednesday, that the league would require West Virginia to honor the league’s 27-month exit agreement. However, sources said privately the league has conceded they can’t stop West Virginia from leaving.

The Big East, though, likely would receive substantial monetary damages. Even Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman said his school might seek liquidated damages against WVU after WVU canceled a Sept. 8 game at Florida State, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The $20 million settlement figure is believed to be contingent on the Big East being able to get a replacement for West Virginia in 2012 and certainly could increase if it had to play with only seven members in 2012. It’s unknown if that $20 million figure includes the $5 million West Virginia paid upon notifying the Big East last October it was bolting to the Big 12.

Acting Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas recently told the West Virginia media that the Big 12 would consider assisting the Mountaineers financially with their exit fee, if the school asked.

Marinatto, who was on a teleconference Wednesday to announce Memphis joining the league in 2013, would not comment on whether the Big East is trying to bring in a member in 2012 or if they would help a future member financially to leave its current conference home.

“The question is related to the impending litigation we're involved in on two fronts," Marinatto said. "It would be inappropriate for me to get into specifics about all of that at this point. I'm going to not talk about that."

Boise State, San Diego State, UCF, SMU, Houston and Memphis are scheduled to join the Big East in 2013 with Navy coming on board in 2015. Marinatto added the Big East would not stage a conference championship football game until 2015 when Navy would - at least for now - become its 12th football playing member.

Also, Wednesday night, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that if the Big East does not find a replacement for West Virginia this fall, then Syracuse and Rutgers could play each other twice with both games counting in the conference standings. One game would be played at Rutgers and the second game possibly at Yankee Stadium.
Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:50 am
 

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

After Memphis’ decision to leave for the Big East on Tuesday, Conference USA officials immediately contacted Temple to gauge the Owls’ interest in moving from the Mid-American Conference to C-USA, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Temple thought it would receive the Big East’s invitation and was stunned the Big East invited Memphis. The Owls were former Big East members before getting dismissed from the league in 2004. Temple has been a member of the MAC since 2007 and in the past three seasons has a 26-12 record under former coach Al Golden and current coach Steve Addazio.

It’s unknown if the Owls would welcome a move to C-USA since there’s still the possibility the Big East could have more future openings if the Big 12 expands to 11 and takes Louisville. If that happens, Temple would be back on the Big East’s radar.

The future of Conference USA is also unknown. C-USA and the Mountain West are considering a merger or will dissolve the two leagues into one. With Memphis gone, will the leagues still combine or decide its better to go at it alone? One source said the possibility of the C-USA/MWC merger “changes weekly.”

If C-USA and the MWC did combine as an all-sports league it would consist of: Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from C-USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii from the MWC. Hawaii would be a football-only member, making a 15-team all-sports conference and a 16-team football conference, not including Temple.

The benefits of the combined league, sources say, would be stability, increased potential television revenue and the additional exposure across the country in new markets. They also would be able to conduct a conference championship game in football. C-USA currently has a championship game, the Mountain West doesn’t.

If the leagues decide to remain as they are could they survive with all of the defections? The Mountain West will be losing TCU, Boise State and San Diego State, while C-USA will lose Houston, UCF, SMU and Memphis. The television revenue for each league would not be as substantial.

As unwieldy as a 15- or 16-team all-sports league stretched across the country may seem, it still likely would provide more long-term stability – at least until one of the current BCS AQ conferences decides to expand again and the dominoes continue to trickle down to the MWC and C-USA.

So does Temple join forces with C-USA or hold out hope for a Big East invite? Does C-USA combine with the Mountain West? We’ll have to wait and see, but the fact that in 2013 seven of the Big East’s 11 football members are former C-USA members (Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida, Houston, Memphis, UCF and SMU) was not lost on one college football industry source.

“Perhaps the Big East can save time and take the rest of Conference USA’s teams,” quipped the source. “Then take C-USA’s name and divide the league into Red, White and Blue Divisions (as the league once had in the 1990s).”
Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:24 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 7:01 pm
 

Memphis heading to Big East in 2013

Memphis has accepted an offer to join the Big East Conference in all sports in 2013, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The Tigers will join the Big East with three other Conference USA members – Houston, SMU and UCF – for the 2013-14 school year. The Big East also will add Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members in 2013 and Navy in 2015.

Memphis will hold a press conference Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET in the Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame Assembly Room to officially announce the move to the Big East.

When contacted by CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish about the move to the Big East Monday, Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson declined comment.

While the addition of Memphis is for all sports, the Tigers' men's basketball program would help offset the future losses of men’s basketball powers Syracuse, West Virginia and Pittsburgh.

When Memphis joins the league, it’s unknown what the Big East’s football and basketball membership will consist of. That’s because West Virginia appears it will join the Big 12 this summer and will not honor the Big East’s 27-month exit requirement. However, both WVU and the Big East have filed lawsuits against each other and a Rhode Island judge ordered the parties into non-binding mediation with a deadline of Thursday.

If West Virginia is allowed to leave early, sources told CBSSports.com that Pittsburgh and Syracuse also would try to leave for the ACC but not until 2013. Although sources said it’s “technically not too late” for Pitt and Syracuse to join the ACC for the 2012 season, the two schools will remain in the Big East in 2012, but would likely negotiate to join the ACC in 2013, a year ahead of schedule.

On Friday, the ACC announced that Pitt would compete in the Coastal Division and Syracuse in the Atlantic Division when it joins the ACC.

ACC commissioner John Swofford would not speculate whether his league would help Pitt and Syracuse financially to leave the Big East before 2014, but told CBSSports.com “our position continues to be that we want to prepare ourselves when they’re ready and it’s appropriate for them to join us.”

If Pitt and Syracuse leave in 2013, then the Big East could be left with 11 football members – Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Boise State, San Diego State and Memphis. Also the league would have 17 basketball members: Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Memphis, Notre Dame, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova, Providence and DePaul.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com