February 29, 2012

Is there any doubt at this point? Rick Pitino spends October through February banging away on how the Big East needs to add Memphis. Now they are coming. His other team to add was Temple. Guess who is on the verge?

It appears the board of trustees of Temple is meeting Wednesday via a conference call to decide if it wants to accept a Big East Conference invitation, if offered.

Discussions between the Big East and Temple regarding the Owls’ joining the conference, possibly for all sports, are hitting the final stages.

Assuming Temple gets an invitation and accepts it, the school has to quickly negotiate exit fees.

Hope you understand the key area: Temple is only deciding whether it will accept an invitation to join the Big East — you know if the the Big East makes them an offer.

Despite all the rumors and noise last week about Temple joining the Big East, there is still no official offer, invitation, or even known vote by the Big East on the matter. In other words, beating back the Villanova opposition.



This is rather convoluted in process for a very simple thing. The Big East needs another team for 2012. Boise State was too expensive, and not desperate enough. The Big East screwed up in the way it took Memphis without further extracting their departure from C-USA early. Mainly because they still hadn’t cut the deal with WVU’s departure, so they could still be in denial about WVU being in the Big East for one more year. The Big East can’t afford/won’t pay to buy the other 7 schools one more game. That leaves Temple.

Temple has had discussions with representatives of the Big East for several weeks about joining the league for the upcoming school year and has also spoken with people from Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference, which are discussing a merger and swelling their ranks to include as many as 24 teams.

“This is driven by the 2012 football schedule,” said Patrick J. O’Connor, Chairman of Temple’s Board of Trustees and principal in the Philadelphia-based law firm Cozen O’Connor. “Because of that, decisions have to be made. There are time considerations.”

For all that talk about hedging by the Big East for Louisville’s eventual departure for the Big 12 (not that, that won’t happen, but that is a side issue), this is about a cost effective solution.

Temple would be leaving the MAC — and for football only. Their basketball and other sports are in the A-10. Not that they wouldn’t finally be all the way in the Big East this time. It is just that they can actually abide the departure rules of the A-10 without pressure and extra cost if need be. The Big East does not need to be in any hurry to take them for basketball and such (like the ACC with Pitt and Cuse).

So, that means negotiating a much smaller exit cost with the MAC just for football. The floor starts at $2.5 million (the normal exit fee along with 2 years notice for the MAC). The Big East might help a little — mainly by waiving or reducing the $5 million entrance fee Temple would be paying the Big East would be my guess.

The Big East not only solves its scheduling issues for 2012, but is at least able to claim that it has a football footprint maintained in Pennsylvania. Not to mention pretending they have achieved an upgrade in media market with Philly for football.

Temple not only gets back into the Big East, but they get all the way in. To be perfectly fair, something they deserved back in the 90s but for Villanova.

Meanwhile UMass is potentially screwed with its move to 1-A and the MAC by Temple leaving (the MAC-UMass deal has a clause allowing the MAC to drop UMass as a member within 2 years if Temple leaves). And East Carolina is still stuck in Greenville and the future Mount USA Conference (MUC).

the new BE .. where half the teams will have a footnote

1 not football but all other sports
2 football only
3 football only, other sports pending
4 football only, other sports in 2013
5 final year(s) in league, will exit in 2013 or 2014

Comment by wbb 02.29.12 @ 7:29 am

make that ‘most’ of the teams will have a footnote

Comment by wbb 02.29.12 @ 7:36 am

I can’t wait to fight Thanksgiving traffic to sit in a cold, gloomy Heinz Field to watch (insert MAC team name) this year.

Comment by Yeti 02.29.12 @ 8:32 am

Worst travel adventure I ever witnessed: A passenger, obviously shaken, asks the airline agent “This isn’t Greenville SC?”

Comment by steve1 02.29.12 @ 8:39 am

No doubt about it: Rick Pitino is the unofficial “godfather” of the Big Eat. He IS a good coach. He IS a sbappy dresser. And, for what it is worth, he IS (along with his Providence minions) the head consultant of the nationwide “eastern league.” Good luck Rick. We won’t miss you in the ACC. Rev. George from Columbus OOPS! I meant SNAPPY DRESSER.

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 02.29.12 @ 9:55 am

::insert joke about Pitino banging some lady in a restaurant then paying his assistant to marry her here::

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 02.29.12 @ 10:19 am

wbb and jimbo, please I can’t stop laughing.

Comment by frankarms 02.29.12 @ 11:30 am

Anyone see this article about Ben Howland and UCLA yet? Yikes, it really sounds bad out there.

link to

Comment by Chris 02.29.12 @ 12:18 pm

ECU is in Greenville NC ! Not SC

Comment by spindler's spirit 02.29.12 @ 12:22 pm

I wish Temple good luck, now here is what I would do.
Xavier, Gergetown, ST johns, Villanova, DePaul, ND, Marquette, ST Joe’s, seton hall, Providenceand Duquesne leave and form their own league.

Comment by SFPitt 02.29.12 @ 12:34 pm

I think the Temple invite is long overdue. They will bring respectable programs in basktball and football and they are in the east. Having a football team in Philly will help the conference. I also think bringing in Memphis was a good move. They bring in a top notch basketball program and although they don’t have very good football, they do have a team. Having Temple and Memphis will help the basketball side of things and add two all sports teams.

Comment by Justinian 02.29.12 @ 1:24 pm

spindler, Greenville NC is where the incident occurred

Comment by steve1 02.29.12 @ 2:18 pm

@steve1, I got your sarcasm!

Comment by Dan 02.29.12 @ 2:29 pm

@SFPITT, ya, there still is going to be a basketball/football conflict. Your football won’t have as much power with newer teams, but it won’t be long before Boise and SD realizing the nonsense, and start voicing it.

Why those basketball schools don’t just say enough is enough and form a fantastic hoops conference. I guess still money from the BE football contract, but they don’t want football, they never have, get out of the business!!!

Would be a hell of a conference, and a fun one to watch.

Comment by Dan 02.29.12 @ 2:33 pm

Bye big least Hello ACC

Comment by 63Team 02.29.12 @ 2:55 pm

Haha loved the dig on East Carolina! 🙂 As a Pitt grad living in Greenville, NC it’s always funny to listen to the East Carolina alums talk on and on about how great their university/football team is. But it’s in the middle of nowhere! Makes WVU look easy to travel to in comparison.

Comment by Kevin Whyte 02.29.12 @ 3:50 pm

Dan, true story. The whole trip was Bermuda triangle-ish. The pilot couldn’t land the plane coming into Greenville because of fog so we had to land at an airport 30 miles away.

I hitched a ride with…you’re not going to believe this… a prophylactic salesman.

Comment by steve1 02.29.12 @ 4:11 pm

Temple cancelled today’s meeting:

link to

Comment by steve1 02.29.12 @ 4:22 pm

“Anyone see this article about Ben Howland and UCLA yet? Yikes, it really sounds bad out there.”

A poignant reminder of fast it can get sideways. Even with great recruits, tradition, and a good head coach. Let’s hope our “down year” is just that; an aberration. We don’t have the “storied history” of UCLA, but the sooner we get back to perennial tournament lock, the better.

Comment by thestumper 02.29.12 @ 5:25 pm

Just throw this out for the smarter ones here…

Does Temple have the BE by the short hairs? Do they want a $$ commit from the BE to buy out their commitments?

Since Boise State fell (or is falling) through for 2012, then does Pitt and Syracuse have cause for a serious “charge-back” to the BE to fill there schedule?

What of the TV contract?.. certainly there is language to cover a serious drop in value of the BE product. Does the tv$$moguls tell the BE that a loss of a WVU replaced with “nothing” decreases their payout by xx % ?

Sort of makes the WVU $20mil not quite the windfall the BE thought !!

Comment by CompLit 02.29.12 @ 5:27 pm

PS, the Pitt/’Cuse charge back could also be lost revenue from a 70-80% sellout WVA game to a 30-40% Little Sisters of the Poor game. (Which hopefully Pitt will now be able to win with PC).

Comment by CompLit 02.29.12 @ 5:32 pm

@STEVE, what are the chances?? Any good advice from the salesman??

I thought it a shot at Greenville NC, saying it couldn’t even compare to Greenville SC!!!

Been to Greenville SC, haven’t had the pleasure of NC!!

Comment by Dan 02.29.12 @ 6:41 pm

Possibly Gardner-Webb could split their team in two, and we could play Gardner one week, and Webb the next???

The BE still giving it to us, can’t shake them for anything.

Now, we’re resorting to cheering that TEMPLE gets in the BE, so we can at least play them, because if they don’t come, probably looking at ELON or something similar to fill out the schedule with Gardner-Webb!!!!!! LOL

Not blaming anyone, situation we’re in,
JULY 1st 2013 can not come soon enough!!

Comment by Dan 02.29.12 @ 6:46 pm

Yes, CompLit, sounds reasonable to me.

This would cause problems for the MAC, they will all need to pick up a game. (the ones that had Temple scheduled)

They’ll owe money to MAC, owe an entrance fee to BE.

Had read, BE was willing to drop that fee. (How does that make the other members feel??)

“ah, Mr. Marinatto, everythings good, we just don’t have the money to pay the MAC fee”

Comment by Dan 02.29.12 @ 7:00 pm

Dan, no good advice, but some funny rubber jokes long since forgotten.

But one remembers the emotional moments: 3 times trying to land, the ashen-faced mis-ticketed traveler and, alas, the sale-not-made.

Comment by steve1 02.29.12 @ 7:02 pm

Football Scheduling 2012 (AKA Musical Chairs)

Comment by CompLit 02.29.12 @ 7:20 pm

We can’t get into the ACC fast enough! I will say I hope Temple goes to the new Big East…. Mostly because I hate Nova, but also because it will be good for Temple.

Comment by CJK 02.29.12 @ 7:50 pm

Don’t make fun of Greenville. I’m heading there in August for their Master of Accounting program. Go Pirates 2012, can attend a ton of Pitt ACC away games 2013.

Comment by Chris 02.29.12 @ 10:27 pm

Anyone elese surprised that Nova never took the leap to join the Big East as a football member? Temple seems to have taken the last chair and the music just stopped. Nova will never step up, sorta a shame, how would things have been different if they did.

Comment by Maryland Andy 02.29.12 @ 11:59 pm

Steve1, the military offers what is called “Space Available” flights were service members can hitch a ride to wherever that particular aircraft is going.

Prior to Christmas of 1980 I jumped on a Air Force flight going from Honolulu to San Francisco… only to be dropped off in Adak, AK when the aircraft had to be diverted for a medical pickup.

Comment by Reed 03.01.12 @ 6:38 am

Likely no Ghiardelli in Adak, eh Reed?

Comment by steve1 03.01.12 @ 7:33 am

@MD Andy

If you read their Rivals board many still think Nova is going to make that jump. Apparently as the 14th or 16th BE team.

Comment by rockyhound 03.01.12 @ 9:12 am

Ahhhh, what a morning. The Panthers win big, the Penguins win in a playoff type game, and the guys on the radio are telling me, “believe me, it’s gonna be different this year for the Pirates”.

Things are good!!!

Comment by Dan 03.01.12 @ 9:35 am

Was at the Pen’s game last night. At least a quarter of the fans in the arena had Pen’s jerseys on. Also, a Pitt script helmet with Ditka’s signature was being auctioned off along with other various football helmets. Starting bid was $450. I was tempted. That helmet was the best looking one there.

Comment by TX Panther 03.01.12 @ 10:11 am

Hey Tx, good for you, what a game, had a playoff feel, back and forth constant action. Too bad about Letang, going to report on it around 4:00 as to his condition.

Yes, that’s a lot of money. Would be sweet to have that helmet in the game room, or a centerpiece on the dining room table!!!!! lol

Comment by Dan 03.01.12 @ 12:31 pm

Temple makes more sense since they have the playing rights at the Linc all sealed up, whereas Villanova can’t expand their on campus stadium due to the local township, and their next viable option is to play at PPL Park half an hour away in Chester. Seems like the easier path to 8 teams.

Comment by Brian R. 03.02.12 @ 11:27 am

the Big East should of done all this over a year ago.. They probaly still would have Pitt WVU and Cuse..its a shame cause i think it would of been interesting and might have been a decent football conference

Comment by Tsingtao44 03.04.12 @ 10:02 pm

[…] on to other things. Which comes first, the Big East invites Temple, Temple’s board authorizes Temple to accept an invite, or Temple reaches a settlement with the MAC to move to the Big East this year? Given how […]

Powered by WordPress ©

Site Meter