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Category:NCAAF
Posted on: November 3, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Boise State gets authorization to join Big East

Boise State will not be a BCS buster much longer.

On Thursday, the Idaho State Board of Education gave Boise State President Bob Kustra authorization to join the Big East as football-only member.

The Big East is one of six automatic qualifying BCS leagues and is guaranteed its BCS status through the 2013 season. Boise State has not received an "official invitation" yet, but would join the Big East on July 1, 2013.

The addition of Boise State would be huge for the Big East, which is trying to restock its league after Pittsburgh, Syracuse, TCU and West Virginia announced they would be leaving the league for the ACC or Big 12 conferences.

Boise State submitted a motion to its State Board of Education Thursday to “change conference affiliation for its intercollegiate athletics teams” and leave the Mountain West. It was passed by the board, 7-1, Thursday afternoon. The school likely won't finalize a move to the Big East until it can secure a home for its Olympic sports.

As reported by CBSSports.com on Tuesday, lawyers from Boise State, UCF, Houston and SMU have been working together the past two weeks in negotiations with the Big East and plan to have all four introduced together as new members. Sources told CBSSports.com this could occur as early as Friday, but Kustra told the state's Board of Education a move may not occur until next week.

Although no official invitation from the Big East has been extended, Big East commissioner John Marinatto has had numerous conversations with representatives from all four schools – plus Navy and Air Force – in the past weeks.

“The University anticipates an offer is imminent and is requesting Board approval to proceed in the best interests of the University should an offer be extended,” the school presented in an agenda item to the Board of Education.

According to Boise State, “The Big East plans to adopt a 12 team football conference with an East and West Division. The two division alignment allows the addition of a championship game at the end of the season. A conference championship game is expected to also add value to the media rights of the conference.”

"Being in a BCS conference is absolutely critical," Kustra told the board.

Kustra also said that by Boise State providing more than a year's notice to leave the Mountain West, the school would not have to pay a $5 million exit fee.

CBSSports.com has reported the league likely would be divided this way – West: Boise State, Houston, SMU, Louisville, Air Force and BYU (if the Cougars opt to join) and East: Cincinnati, Navy, UConn, South Florida, UCF and Rutgers.

Besides Boise State, sources told CBSSports.com that Houston, UCF, SMU and Navy are committed to joinig the Big East and only awaiting an official invitation. Sources said they expect Air Force to also join after those five schools have officially been added to the Big East.

Any new Big East members would not join the league until July 1, 2013.




Posted on: November 1, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 7:57 pm
 

Boise St., 3 others could join Big East by Friday

Nationally ranked Boise State and Houston along with SMU and UCF could be added as Big East members by Friday, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

On Tuesday in Philadelphia, the Big East’s presidents and chancellors authorized league commissioner John Marinatto to issue invitations to those schools – along with Navy and Air Force – sources said. 

However, Boise State, Houston, SMU and UCF prefer to be announced as league members together and must wait until Boise State’s board meeting on Thursday. There have been no “official invitations” extended to the schools, but Marinatto has been in constant contact and spoke to representatives of all six schools after Tuesday’s meeting.

Boise State would join as a football-only member, while UCF, SMU and Houston would join as all-sport members beginning in 2013. 

Following Tuesday's Big East meeting in Philadelphia, representatives from those four schools – plus Navy – held a conference call. All four schools are “100 percent” on board in joining together with the only possible hang-up being Boise State finding a conference home for its Olympic sports – most likely the WAC or West Coast Conference.

Navy has told the other schools on Tuesday's call it “is definitely in” and Air Force is expected to join once Navy commits to the Big East, a source said. 

On Oct. 23 in Washington D.C. Marinatto met with representatives from Boise State, Houston, SMU, Navy and UCF. Since then representatives from the general counsels at Boise State, UCF, Houston and SMU have been working together in concert to negotiate several details, including entrance and exit fees upon joining the Big East.

TCU’s entrance fee to join the Big East was $2.5 million and the new members’ entrance fee is expected to be the same. However, the schools actually don’t pay that amount up front – it’s usually taken out of league revenues over a five-year period.

The addition of those four schools will help offset the recent announced departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC and TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12.

TCU, which left the Big East before ever playing in the league, will join the Big 12 next season. Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia can not leave before July 1, 2014. However, West Virginia filed a lawsuit against the Big East on Monday so that the Mountaineers could join the Big 12 next year and would not have to honor the league’s 27-month requirement before leaving.

The league’s presidents and chancellors discussed West Virginia’s lawsuit during Tuesday’s meeting in Philadelphia.

“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,” Marinatto said in a statement. “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.”

Bringing Boise State on board would help the Big East’s bid to retain status as an automatic qualifying BCS conference, when the new cycle begins in 2014. Since 2006, the Broncos are 68-5 with two undefeated seasons. Boise State (7-0) is ranked No. 5 in this week’s BCS standings, while Houston (7-0) is No. 13.

The addition of Boise State, Houston, SMU, UCF, Navy and Air Force would give the Big East 11 football schools in 2014. The Western contingent of schools also is pushing to bring BYU in as the Big East’s 12th-football playing member. If the Cougars, who are currently an independent, are not interested, Temple is the leading candidate as the league’s 12th member, sources said.

However, the league’s presidents on Tuesday did not officially discuss any candidates beyond Boise State, Houston, Navy, UCF, Air Force and SMU, a source said.

If Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia must stay in the Big East until 2014, the league would have 15 football members in 2013 – Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, Boise State, Houston, SMU, UCF, Air Force, Navy, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and BYU/Temple.

In 2014, a 12-team Big East likely would be split into one of the following two six-team divisions based on BYU or Temple joining.

If BYU joins: West – Boise State, Air Force, BYU, Houston, SMU and Louisville; East – Cincinnati, UConn, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF and Navy.

If Temple joins: West – Boise State, Air Force, Houston, SMU, Louisville and Cincinnati; East – UConn, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Navy and Temple.

Posted on: October 31, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 9:59 am
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East




West Virginia is filing suit against the Big East Conference so it can join the Big 12 next season, according to a document obtained by CBSSports.com.

The Big East requires its members to pay $5 million and provide 27 months notice before it may leave the conference. However, on Friday when West Virginia accepted an invitation to join the Big 12, WVU and Big 12 officials both indicated the Mountaineers would begin play in the Big 12 in 2012-13.

In an e-mail to the league’s presidents Monday, Big East commissioner John Marinatto wrote that “we have been advised by West Virginia league council that the University is filing suit against the Big East Conference today (Monday) – presumably to get relief from the withdrawal provision contained in our bylaws.”

Marinatto later issued the following statement in response to West Virginia's lawsuit:

“We are disappointed that West Virginia has adopted this strategy and cannot imagine why it believes it does not have to respect and honor the bylaws it agreed to as a member of the Big East. Based on an initial review of the lawsuit, it is clear that the allegations and claims in it are false and inaccurate. Certainly there is nothing in it that would justify WVU’s not fulfilling its obligations. To put it simply, a contract is a contract.

“Once we have reviewed the filing, we will explore all our legal options and will act vigorously to ensure that WVU lives up to all its obligations to our conference. In the meantime, this lawsuit will not interfere in any way with our ongoing efforts to strengthen and expand the Big East.”

 West Virginia is the latest school to announce it was leaving the Big East along with Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC and TCU to the Big 12.

The Big East has a 27-month notification period to leave and Marinatto has said multiple times Pittsburgh and Syracuse can’t leave for the ACC until June 1, 2014. Other league sources have said the Big East has no plans of letting West Virginia leave the league before June 1, 2014 and were surprised the Mountaineers announced they were joining the Big 12 in 2012. TCU had to pay $5 million, but was not required to provide 27 months notice because it left for the Big 12 before it actually began play in the Big East.

"We've been a good member of the Big East for a long time," President James Clements told reporters on Friday. "Our University is in discussions with the conference office."

Clements said West Virginia has already paid $2.5 million of the $5 million exit fee required to the Big East. He added the remaining amount would be paid on June 30, 2012 – on what the Mountaineers believe will be their final day in the Big East.

The Big East’s presidents and chancellors will meet in Philadelphia Tuesday. They are expected to formalize plans to add as many as six schools – Boise State, Navy, Air Force, SMU, Houston and UCF. No schools have received “official invitations” yet, but all have had multiple discussions with Marinatto in recent weeks about joining the league.

Last month, Marinatto said that if the Big East grew to 12 football schools, the league still would make Pitt and Syracuse honor the 27-month requirement "even if it meant a 14-team Big East" in 2013. That philosophy hasn't changed, league sources said, which could possibly mean a 15-team Big East, including West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, in 2013.


Posted on: October 28, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 2:05 pm
 

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

Will West Virginia stay or will they go? More specifically, when will they go?

Actually, the Mountaineers are gone – they’re leaving the Big East for the Big 12. But there seems to be a, well, slight difference of opinion when West Virginia actually will join the Big 12. 

The Big East has a 27-month notification period to leave – the league has said multiple times Pittsburgh and Syracuse can’t leave for the ACC until June 1, 2014 – but the Big 12 and West Virginia indicate they’ll join forces next year.

Following CBSSports.com’s report, the Big East and Big 12 released statements this morning within a few minutes of each other. 

The Big 12’s version:

“The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors have voted unanimously to accept West Virginia University as a full conference member effective July 1, 2012.  The Mountaineers will begin competing in the Big 12 beginning with the 2012-13 athletic season.” 

The Big East’s version from Commissioner John Marinatto:

“This move by West Virginia does not come as a surprise. League officials, members of our conference and the candidate schools to whom we have been talking were aware of this possibility. We have taken West Virginia’s possible departure into account as we have moved forward with our own realignment plans. West Virginia is fully aware that the Big East Conference is committed to enforcing the 27-month notification period for members who choose to leave the conference. We are confident that in the coming weeks we will complete our own realignment program, adding a number of high-quality members to remain among the top conferences in both football and basketball.” 

So the Big 12 and West Virginia say West Virginia is joining the Big 12 next season, while the Big East says it “is committed to enforcing the 27-month notification period.”

Multiple Big East sources have said they have no indication that the league would change its 27-month notification rule. Marinatto has said previously he was prepared to have a 14-team football league, including Pitt and Syracuse along with its new members, in 2012 and/or 2013. If West Virginia doesn't leave next season, it conceivably could be a 15-team football league in 2012/2013.

This, my friends, could get interesting.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 28, 2011 9:32 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 12:36 pm
 

WVU to Big 12; what's next for Big East

West Virginia has accepted an offer to join the Big 12 Conference, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com Friday.

The Mountaineers informed the Big East Friday morning that they were leaving the league. The Big 12 is expected to officially announce the invitation later today.

The Big 12's board of directors voted Friday morning and chose West Virginia over Louisville. The Big 12 will stay at 10 schools, a source said.

On Tuesday, West Virginia had received a verbal offer to join the Big 12, but then the league put the Mountaineers on hold because the league’s board of directors wanted to perform “due diligence.”

The league was split between adding West Virginia or Louisville to replace Missouri, which is expected to leave the league for the SEC.

"The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors are excited to welcome another outstanding institution to the Conference," said Burns Hargis, Chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors. "The addition of West Virginia, while expanding the reach of the Big 12, brings an impressive institution with esteemed academics and a proud athletic tradition into the Conference. This is another step in building a strong foundation for the future of the Big 12." 

"The Big 12 is a perfect fit for West Virginia University," said WVU President Dr. James P. Clements. "It is a strong conference that, like WVU, values quality academic and athletic programs, and has a great tradition of success. This is a very exciting time for WVU and Mountaineer nation. I am confident that the future of WVU athletics has never been more promising."

Missouri still hasn’t officially left the Big 12. The Tigers are still negotiating an exit fee to leave the league. The SEC’s Digital Network, an official website of the SEC, accidentally posted a story Thursday night that Missouri would join the SEC on July 1, 2012.

West Virginia will join the Big 12 in 2012-13, the Big 12 announced. Missouri is expected to join the SEC next season. West Virginia will have to pay a $5 million exit fee. That figure would have been $10 million if the Mountaineers would have informed the league after Navy or Air Force joined the league, which they have not.

West Virginia is the latest team to announce it's leaving the Big East Conference. Pittsburgh and Syracuse are headed to the ACC and Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said both schools would not be able to leave until July 1, 2014.

TCU, which was scheduled to join the Big East next season, will join the Big 12 and begin play next season. The Horned Frogs were not bound by the 27-month requirement since they left the Big East before they officially joined.

With the Big 12 only taking West Virginia - and not taking Louisville as well - the Big East’s chances of retaining its BCS automatic qualifying status in 2014 is greatly improved.

The Big East is seeking a 12-team football league and is expected to issue invitations to Boise State, Air Force, Navy, Houston, SMU and Central Florida. That would increase the football membership to 11 teams.

On Friday morning, UCF's board of trustees voted unanimously to give UCF President John Hitt the authority to make decisions about conference affiliation. A day earlier, Houston's board of regents granted President Renu Khator the authority for the Cougars to change conferences. UCF and Houston are both currently in Conference USA.

On Wednesday, Marinatto and associate commissioner Nick Carparelli visited Air Force officials in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Thursday visited Boise State officials in Boise.

"We appreciate the effort John Marinatto is putting forth stabilizing the Big East," Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said Friday morning. "We're in the bullpen watching this unfold, doing our due diligence waiting for the dust to settle. When it does, we'll decide what is best for Navy."

With the loss of West Virginia, the Big East would need a 12th member. Sources have told CBSSports.com that the Big East’s potential Western schools are in favor of adding BYU. It’s unknown if the Cougars would be interested, but the fact the Big 12 will stay at 10 schools may increase BYU's chances of joining the Big East as a football-only member.

Temple also is a very strong candidate as the 12th member.

The Big East could extend official invitations next week. The league’s presidents are scheduled to meet with Marinatto in Philadelphia on Tuesday.


Posted on: October 26, 2011 10:54 pm
 

Big East officials visit Air Force, Boise State

Big East commissioner John Marinatto and associate commissioner Nick Carparelli flew to Colorado Springs Wednesday to meet with Air Force officials and were scheduled to meet with Boise State officials in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday, a source told CBSSports.com.

Boise State and Air Force are among six schools the Big East hopes to add to replace the defections of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and TCU.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Marinatto and Carparelli met with Air Force superintendent Michael Gould, athletic director Hans Mueh and football coach Troy Calhoun on Wednesday.

Thursday’s meeting between Boise State and the Big East will be the second in five days. On Sunday, Boise State, along with officials from Navy, Houston, SMU and UCF met with Marinatto and representatives from other Big East schools in Washington D.C., CBSSports.com reported.

Air Force officials were not able to attend that meeting.

On Tuesday, the Big East’s presidents and chancellors have a meeting scheduled in Philadelphia, where they could give Marinatto the green light to add new members.

The addition of Boise State, Navy, Houston, SMU, UCF and Air Force would get the Big East up to 12 members – until West Virginia or Louisville leaves the league.

West Virginia appeared headed to the Big 12 when the league informed the Mountaineers Tuesday they would receive an official invitation to replace Missouri in the Big 12. However, later that day, the league contacted West Virginia and told the school they were undecided between WVU and Louisville.

A source told CBSSports.com the Big 12’s board of directors needed to “perform due diligence” before making a final decision.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the Big 12 also is considering adding both West Virginia and Louisville, which could prove fatal to the Big East’s hopes of retaining its BCS automatic qualifying status in 2014.

Oklahoma State uber-booster Boone Pickens told the Oklahoman Wednesday he had a concern with the distance between West Virginia and the other Big 12 schools.

“That's pretty isolated,” Pickens said. “To me, you go out here to West Virginia, you're going to go a long way. I didn't like the Pac-10 for that reason.”


Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 2:48 pm
 

How close did Big 12 come to adding WVU?

How close was the Big 12 to announcing West Virginia as its newest member?

As of Tuesday, Big 12 officials, including interim commissioner Chuck Neinas and deputy commissioner Tim Weiser, planned to be in Morgantown, W.Va. today to announce West Virginia was headed to the Big 12.

The Big 12 had told West Virginia officials the Mountaineers were the choice to replace Missouri and the Big 12 even had a press release prepared.

But before the Big 12 could make it official, the league’s board of directors wanted to perform due diligence and decided to hold off on officially inviting West Virginia.

The reason was simple: the Big 12 had always been deciding between West Virginia, Louisville or BYU as a replacement for Missouri, when it leaves for the SEC. Now the league is split between West Virginia and Louisville, multiple sources have said.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that it’s “too close to call” between West Virginia and Louisville. The West Virginia Metro News reported the Big 12 told West Virginia officials the Big 12 board would vote on which school to add perhaps as early as Monday.

Also, the multiple reports that indicated Big East commissioner John Marinatto would meet with Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowksy and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson today "were not accurate," Big East spokesman John Paquette told CBSSports.com Tuesday. Paquette also reiterated today that Marinatto did not meet today Banowsky and Thompson.

C-USA and the MWC hope to merge with the Big East in some fashion to obtain a BCS automatic qualifying bid. However, the Big East still plans on forming a 12-team football league with the addition of Boise State, Navy, Air Force, UCF, Houston and SMU to join USF, UConn, Rutgers, Cincinnati and either Louisville or West Virginia.

The Big East would have to seek another school to replace West Virginia or Louisville. Temple would be the most likely candidate, but the possible new Western members are interested in pursuing BYU to replace WVU or UL.


Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: October 25, 2011 6:36 pm
 

WVU headed to Big 12 if Missouri leaves

Shortly after Missouri officially announces it is withdrawing from the Big 12, West Virginia will be extended an invitation to join the Big 12, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The Mountaineers invitation to the Big 12 is contingent on Missouri leaving for the SEC. Once Missouri notifies the Big 12 it is leaving, the Mountaineers' official invitation could come within "24-48 hours," a source said. 

The Mountaineers would be the latest to leave the Big East Conference. Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced they are leaving for the ACC and TCU will join the Big 12 next season.

If West Virginia informs the Big East of its intention to leave before the league adds Navy or Air Force, the Mountaineers would only be held to a $5 million exit fee. If the Big East has added Navy or Air Force before the Mountaineers notify the Big East, they would have to pay $10 million. Either way, the Mountaineers would not be able to leave the Big East until June 30, 2014 – the same time frame as Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

Without West Virginia, Pitt, Syracuse and TCU, the remaining football league members are UConn, Rutgers, USF, Louisville and Cincinnati.

Two days ago in Washington D.C., Big East commissioner John Marinatto met with officials from Boise State, Houston, SMU, UCF and Navy, but no official invitations were extended. Air Force did not attend the meeting. Representatives from other Big East schools also attended.

The Big East hopes to add those schools – along with Air Force – to get to a 12-team football league. Even if the Big East adds those schools, without West Virginia, they still would need another school.

The Western contingent of the Big East's possible future members - Boise State, Air Force, Houston and SMU - are pushing for the Big East to pursue BYU. It's unknown if the Cougars, who had talks with the Big 12, would be interested in joining a 12-team Big East.

If the Big East could land BYU - along with the other six new schools - it would have two divisions: West - BYU, Air Force, Houston, SMU, Boise State and Louisville and East - UConn, Rutgers, USF, Cincinnati, Navy and UCF that Big East officials are confident would be worthy of retaining its BCS automatic qualifying status.

Besides BYU, other possible candidates for the Big East's 12th member would be Temple or East Carolina.

On Tuesday afternoon, Big East spokesman John Paquette told CBSSports.com that a Las Vegas Journal report that Marinatto would meet with Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson Wednesday in New York about a merger between the leagues was inaccurate.

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