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
Posted on: October 20, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 4:57 pm
 

Policy indicates LSU trio could miss Alabama game

LSU could be without cornerbacks Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon and running back Spencer Ware against Alabama if -- and the key word is "if" -- their suspensions were for a second failed drug test, according to the school’s substance abuse policy.

Mathieu, Simon and Ware will not play Saturday against Auburn "after testing positive for synthetic marijuana," The Times-Picayune reported.

LSU officials and coach Les Miles have not confirmed that the players have been suspended for a failed drug test.

Based on the school's substance abuse policy, obtained by CBSSports.com, a second positive test results in a "suspension from up to 15 percent [rounding method used] of countable contests and/or suspension up to 30 days or combination thereof upon recommendation of treatment team. The penalty will be observed in all sports from the date of signed notification."

The policy does not specify if "up to 15 percent" is a subjective decision, meaning a student-athlete can be suspended "up to 15 percent" or if the suspension is "automatically" 15 percent of games. For a 12-game season, a 15-percent suspension computes to 1.8 games, which would be rounded up to a two-game suspension.

LSU's policy also states there is no automatic suspension for a first positive test and a one-year suspension for a third.

Mathieu and Ware are starters for the No. 1-ranked Tigers, while Simon is a backup cornerback who plays mostly in nickel situations.

After playing Auburn Saturday, LSU is off next week before visiting No. 2-ranked Alabama.

According to the school’s substance abuse policy, every student-athlete is tested a minimum of twice a year. The tests can be random or announced.

However, once a student-athlete has a positive test, the "athlete is subject to unannounced testing at an increased frequency at the discretion of the Drug Prevention Coordinator," LSU’s policy states.

LSU's student-athletes are tested for: "marijuana; synthetic marijuana; cocaine; amphetamine class (includes speed, designer drug 'ecstasy,' etc.); LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide); opiate class (includes heroine, morphine, codeine, etc.); ephedrine; alcohol (ethanol); anabolic steroids and miscellaneous random tests for Clenbuterol, probenecid, barbiturates and adulterants." 

Ware is LSU's leading rusher, while Mathieu is a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate.

"I certainly understand the interest surrounding what seems to be news," Miles told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. "The problem with that news is that it's internal discipline and an internal function of a team. I'm not inclined to be forthcoming with information. I'm not reactionary to meet the [needs] of the media and things external to this building.

"So, with that being said, there’s a process that I go through. When there's information that I can share, I will. I can only tell you that I’m doing this in the best interest of our football team, our squad and to maintain a deportment and a procedure that I'm true to in a process that I'm very comfortable with. There's no real information about any specific player that I'll address at this point."

Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Officials at Houston and SMU have both been contacted by Big East commissioner John Marinatto and have been told the league wants to discuss with them further about joining the league, sources told CBSSports.com.

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday night that Houston had been extended an invitation. However, league sources said no official invitations have been extended to any teams. The Big East also released a statement Saturday that no invitations have been extended.

On Tuesday afternoon, Marinatto held a media teleconference, but would not identify specific schools but did admit he's had preliminary discussions with several schools.

Those schools are Boise State, Navy, Air Force, UCF, Houston and SMU, sources said.

Marinatto said he's confident the Big East will remain an automatic qualifying BCS conference when the new cycle begins in 2014 and didn't provide a timetable on adding teams to replace TCU, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

"Stay tuned," he said. "We're not rushing ourselves to meet anyone's deadline. The sooner, the better."

Marinatto reiterated that the Big East would not allow Pittsburgh or Syracuse to leave the league early and must honor the 27-month exit agreement. Pitt and Syracuse will remain in the Big East through June 30, 2014, meaning the Big East could have a 14-team football league in 2013 if necessary, Marinatto said.

A college football industry source indicated the fact the ACC has to wait until then is not a big deal to the league. "It just gives the ACC more time to get organized and get their schedules set," the source said.

On Monday night, the Big East’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to increase the league’s exit fee to $10 million, but the increased fee is contingent on either Navy or Air Force joining the league as football only members, sources told CBSSports.com.

Marinatto confirmed the increase in the exit fee, but would not identify the school that would trigger the increased exit fee.

The increased exit fees from $5 million to $10 million for the football schools were something Navy and Air Force wanted before committing to the Big East.

"I don't think anyone will be blindsided or feel bushwhacked when this process is complete," Marinatto said.

Navy, Air Force and Boise State are interested to joining the Big East because of the league's automatic qualifying BCS status, but wanted a bigger financial commitment from the remaining members (Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia).

Sources said Houston and SMU – along with UCF – are prepared to accept an invitation to join the Big East as all sports members once an official invitation is extended.

UCF met with Marinatto and other Big East representatives in Cincinnati on Friday. Boise State officials spoke via telephone with the Big East on Thursday.

Marinatto is in the process of scheduling a meeting with Houston and SMU officials in the coming days in New York, sources said.

The Big East wants to get to 12 football teams with the addition of Navy, Air Force and Boise State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sports members.

However, the Big East still could lose a school if Missouri leaves for the SEC. The New York Times reported Monday night that Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 to the SEC is “inevitable and imminent.” If so, the Big 12 could target either Louisville or West Virginia or even add both teams. BYU also remains an expansion candidate for the Big 12.

Marinatto said the Big East would move quickly in expanding and "is not going to pause" and wait on "the Missouri situation."

Marinatto also said he has not been contacted by any other conferences interested in any Big East schools since TCU left for the Big 12. When the league gets to 12 schools, Marinatto said it's a possibility the Big East could hold its football championship game in New York, similar to the Big East basketball tournament.

Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 9:46 pm
 

Big East fee increase depends on Navy, Air Force

The Big East’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Monday night to increase the league’s exit fee to $10 million, but the increased fee is contingent on Navy and Air Force joining the league as football only members, sources told CBSSports.com.

The increase in exit fees from $5 million to $10 million is expected to increase the probability of adding Navy and Air Force as football-only members. Both schools are receptive to joining the Big East, but wanted a bigger financial commitment from the remaining members (Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia).

Sources with knowledge of Monday's teleconference also said that there is no timetable to issue invitations. The Big East previously had indicated a desire to get to 12 football members after losing TCU to the Big 12 and Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC.

Less than an hour before the Big East’s presidents and chancellors held their teleconference Monday night with Commissioner John Marinatto, the New York Times reported Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 to the SEC was “inevitable and imminent.”

That development would have a significant impact on the league, specifically Big East members Louisville and West Virginia, who sources have told CBSSports.com are prime candidates to receive a Big 12 invitation if Missouri left. However, all of the Big East’s 14 members still voted unanimously for the increased exit fee Monday night.

Besides Navy and Air Force, the Big East also has had conversations with Boise State about becoming a football-only member and with UCF about joining as an all sports member.

As of Saturday, the Big East “felt confident about their discussions with Boise State,” a college football industry source told CBSSports.com.

“That’s the most important factor, the stability of the core membership,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told CBSSports.com Monday night.

Gladchuk said that the possibility of adding Boise State was significant in Navy’s decision making process. “Absolutely,” Gladchuk said. “Anything that helps stabilize the Big East’s automatic BCS berth.”

Boise State president Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman Saturday the Broncos have notified the Mountain West Conference that it is definitely staying or leaving the league.

“If by some strange chance somebody came to us and said we’d like to invite you to join our conference, I’d have to say, ‘Well, you’ll have to give us time to do our due diligence and really spend the time on it.’ We’re not ready,” Kustra told the Statesman. “I have no idea how fast or slow this whole process is going to move.”

Last week Boise State coach Chris Petersen said he was not concerned about the extra travel that would be required by competing in the Big East.

“For us, it’s not that big of a deal (with) how we travel,” Petersen told the Statesman. “You get on a plane, you charter. You’re in and out. You’re on a plane four hours instead of two. Whatever. All that’s doable.

“Do all the other things make sense? And I think that, don’t kid yourself, these guys (Kustra and interim athletic director Curt Apsey) are all over it. They’re analyzing everything.”

UCF is ready to join the Big East, multiple sources told CBSSports.com, and is just awaiting an official invitation to the league.

UCF officials met with Marinatto and other Big East representatives Friday in Cincinnati. “We were very impressed with them,” a league source said. “It went well. I can’t imagine it dragging out too long with them.”

The league also is targeting Houston and SMU as potential all-sports members to get to 12 football members. If the Big East lost any schools to the Big 12 or other conferences, the next likely candidates the Big East would pursue would be Temple and East Carolina.
Posted on: October 17, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 8:58 pm
 

Big 12 on Mizzou move to SEC: "Wait and see"

Missouri's departure from the Big 12 to the SEC is "inevitable and imminent," the New York Times reported Monday night, but Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas told CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd "I guess we'll wait and see."

"I have not heard anything different," Neinas told CBSSports.com. "I really have no comment. I have not heard anything. I have not read the New York Times story. That's all I can tell you."

The Times, quoting a college official with direct knowledge of the situation, said no specific timetable has been set. However, Missouri’s Board of Curators will meet on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo., where the process of withdrawing from the Big 12 and applying to the SEC is expected to begin, the Times reported.

Neinas told Dodd he understood the Board of Curators meeting were "regularly scheduled meetings, not a special meeting," Neinas said. "They're looking for a new systems president."

On Saturday, Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis told CBSSports.com Big 12 officials did not know whether Missouri would stay in the Big 12.

Hargis also told CBSSports.com the league's presidents would engage in "serious conversations" in the next two weeks whether to remain at 10 schools or return to 12 schools. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma prefer 12 members, while Texas prefers 10 members. However, officials from all three schools stress they just want the best model that assures long-term stability.

Neinas said recently that Missouri would remain in the league in 2012, no matter what the Tigers decision was regarding the SEC. However, a source told CBSSports.com last week that it was still "very possible" if Missouri left the Big 12, it could begin play in the SEC next season along with Texas A&M.

Neinas said last week he told SEC commissioner Mike Slive “if you’re going to extend an invitation to Missouri please let me know.”

Missouri's decision to leave for the SEC could have a major impact on the Big East Conference, whose presidents and chancellors were scheduled to hold an 8 p.m. teleconference to approve an increase in its exit fees from $5 million to $10 million.

Louisville and West Virginia would be leading candidates for the Big 12, but league sources told CBSSports.com Monday afternoon both schools would support increasing the league's exit fees. That was, however, before the Times' report Monday night that Missouri was headed to the SEC.



Posted on: October 15, 2011 6:53 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Serious talks upcoming for Big 12 membership size

AUSTIN, Texas – Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis told CBSSports.com he prefers a 12-team Big 12 Conference, but admits there is no consensus whether the league should be a 10-team or 12-team league.

“I think we’ll have serious conversations at our next (Big 12) board meeting (in two weeks) about whether the league should be 10 or 12 teams,” Hargis said at halftime of the Oklahoma State-Texas game.

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds has said he prefers a 10-team model, but would be open to 12 schools. Oklahoma officials, including Coach Bob Stoops, have said they prefer 12, but are most concerned with what provides stability.

“There is no consensus from conference members on going to 10 or 12 members,” Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said last week.

Hargis said the league continues to wait on a decision from Missouri if the Tigers are staying or leaving for the SEC.

Missouri remains favored by a majority of SEC presidents and chancellors as the SEC's 14th member, four sources familiar with their discussions told The Birmingham News.

One sticking point is which division Missouri would play in, the newspaper reported. Sources told the News that Alabama would support Missouri as the 14th member if it joined the SEC East and not the SEC West.





Posted on: October 15, 2011 5:14 pm
 

BYU admits discussions with Big 12, but no invite

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said Saturday the Cougars have had discussions with the Big 12, but have not turned down an invitation and have not been invited to join the Big 12.

“I think with all that’s happened in the last little while and now that you see TCU has joined the Big 12 replacing Texas A&M, it’s probably a good time to talk about things we haven’t before,” said Holmoe prior to Saturday’s game at Oregon State.

Holmoe said he’s made it a point to keep all past discussions with the Big 12 private. The Cougars are playing their first year as an independent after leaving the Mountain West Conference last season.

“That’s really how we want to do our business,” Holmoe said. “These are very important discussions. We want to make sure that they’re private and that they’re personal and that we do not put our business out in front of the nation.

“I do really appreciate that the Big 12 has kept to their word and that the discussions that we have been involved with have been very private and very confidential.”

BYU has been mentioned as a possible candidate to the Big 12. The league is still waiting for a decision whether Missouri will remain or join the SEC.

“Well I’m very excited about BYU football in the future and BYU athletics,” Holmoe said. “As you know we’ve made some pretty bold moves the last little while to go independent. But for me, I’m competitive. 

“People that know me, that know (football coach) Bronco Mendenhall, (basketball coach) Dave Rose and the rest of our coaches that we’re going to do everything that we can to stay as competitive as we can. I want to play at the highest level that we can. We’ve been doing a good job where we’ve been and we’re going to continue to look to do our very best.”

If the BCS conferences evolve into 16-team superconferences, Holmoe “wants to be at the table.”

“We’re always monitoring and listening to what’s going on out there,” Holmoe said. “So I think some people have thought that we haven’t been involved. We’ve very much been involved at a lot of different levels of communication with various conferences.”

Holmoe said he doesn’t believe the fact BYU won’t participate in athletic events on Sundays is an issue.

“I don’t think it’s real complicated for BYU, but I think everybody knows that BYU is not going to play on Sunday,” Holmoe said. “That’s one of the issues that I think everyone in the country knows where BYU stands.”

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Big 12, BYU, Missouri, SEC
 
Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:58 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 7:11 pm
 

Boise, 3 more could get Big East invite next week

Once divided on whether to invite Boise State, the Big East is now united on extending an invitation to the Broncos, along with Air Force, Navy and UCF, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Boise State, Air Force and UCF have indicated they are receptive to joining the Big East. Navy is prepared to also commit once a higher exit fee has been established, sources said. The official invitations to UCF, Boise State, Air Force and Navy could be extended as early as next week. 

Big East representatives, including Commissioner John Marinatto, met with UCF officials Friday in Cincinnati. On Thursday, Boise State and a Big East representative spoke via telephone about the Broncos joining the Big East.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson and C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky confirmed Friday that Boise State, Air Force and UCF have had contact with the Big East.

On Sunday or Monday the Big East's presidents and chancellors are expected to vote and approve an increased exit fee of at least $10 million for football members. That’s double the current amount ($5 million), but less than what Marinatto proposed in an Oct. 2 meeting. In that meeting there were discussions to increase the exit fee to “150 percent of the gross revenues received by a departing team in its final year in the league,” according to league documents obtained by CBSSports.com. 

That figure would have been between $12 million and $15 million.

The addition of Boise State would be significant in helping the Big East retain its status as an automatic qualifying BCS league when the new BCS cycle begins in 2014.

The Broncos, ranked No. 5 in this week's AP poll, are among college football's winningest programs, with a 71-5 record since 2006.

"I believe Boise and Air Force are gone [to the Big East]," a source familiar with the Mountain West told CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd.

With the expected addition of Boise State, Air Force, Navy and UCF and the defections of TCU, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, that would leave the football membership at 10 schools, two shy of the 12 members the league said on Monday it was seeking.

Houston, SMU and Temple are being considered for the final two spots. However, one source said Houston and SMU are expected to get the final two spots because of Villanova’s concerns about adding Temple into the league.

Boise State, Air Force and Navy would join as football-only members. UCF, Houston and SMU would join as full members. Thompson, of the Mountain West, said that Boise State and Air Force would not be allowed to keep its non-football schools in the Mountain West if they left for the Big East.

The Mountain West source also told CBSSports.com that the addition of Boise State, Air Force, Navy and UCF are, in terms of market, TV and football value, would be at least even with Syracuse, Pittsburgh and TCU.

A BCS source said the Big East has been given no sign from BCS officials that adding those teams would help it keep its automatic bid.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com