Lost and Confused Signpost

Big East expansion continues to be a mess


Big East football on Saturday was largely unbearable (again) with games like a 16-10 victory by UConn over South Florida and yet another second-half collapse by Pitt in a 26-14 loss to a very average Utah team; a 21-20 come-from-behind win by Rutgers over Navy was the league’s only redeeming game.

The Big East’s conference expansion woes have been equally, if not more, frustrating than the on-the-field performances. The conference reportedly voted Friday to extend formal invites to Boise State, Air Force, Navy and UCF in either a football-only capacity or as a full-time member, and Temple, SMU and Houston were all in consideration for the final two spots.

Since then, it’s been a complete mess.

Big East presidents have yet to vote on raising exit fees to at least $10 million, a priority that was supposed to have been taken care of Friday and was seen as a trigger for acceptance from the likes of Boise State and Navy. Both programs reportedly had reservations about joining the Big East unless exit fees were raised beyond their current $5 million.

An ESPN report later stated that Navy was very skeptical about joining the conference and that the Big East’s increased exit fees were conditioned on acceptance from Houston, SMU, Boise State and Air Force.

Navy says that’s simply not true.

We’re still in the running, there’s no question,” said Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk Saturday to the Baltimore Sun. “All the media speculation, there’s no credibility to it… We’re not skeptical about joining.”

One candidate that is on edge teetering on the outside looking in is Temple. The Owls are reportedly being blocked by Villanova and other basketball members as a member of the Big East. Temple was kicked out of the Big East after the 2004 season and was thought to be a potential addition for the league’s new 12-team expansion plans.

So, just to be clear: Villanova, a basketball-only member with no means to move up to 1-A football has, with the help of other basketball-only members with no means to to move up to 1-A football, has successfully blocked Temple. The Philadelphia Inquirer states, though, that Big East basketball members were more open to the idea of bringing in the Philly school as a football-only member.

Speaking of which, what about Boise State? Mountain West athletic director Chris Thompson confirmed on a Friday night conference call over the MWC new “alliance” with Conference USA that Boise State had been in talks with the Big East about joining the conference. Whether they will remains to be seen.

At any rate, Boise and Navy still appear to be on the Big East’s radar. Pete Thamel of the New York Times reports the Big East’s expansion plans include “Air Force, Navy and Boise State as football-only members, as well as Central Florida, Southern Methodist and Houston as full members.”

On the same Friday conference call, Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said UCF was in talks with the Big East as well, but added he was unaware of any talks among Houston, SMU and the Big East.

Invites for new members, whomever they may be, may not come until Monday, the same day as when the conference is expected (again) to vote on exit fees. Big East bylaws state no invitations can be sent until after a 72-hour period from when member presidents are informed of plans to expand and/or restructure.

This delay could be for myriad reasons, but it’s still very possible that Louisville and West Virginia, especially the latter, are holding out as long as possible for an invite from another conference. The Big 12 is currently debating as to whether they would stay at 10 members or expand again to 12. BYU, thought to be off the Big 12’s radar, still remains the biggest obstacle for either of those Big East teams hoping to gain membership into the Big 12.

The official number of Big East football teams could be decided this week. However, the possibility remains very much alive that it will not stay at that number for even the immediate future, even with heightened exit fees.

Dismissed Wolverine Logan Tuley-Tillman charged with three felonies

Logan Tuley-Tillman
Michigan Athletics

Back on September 10, it was announced that Jim Harbaugh had dismissed Logan Tuley-Tillman for “conduct unacceptable for a Michigan student-athlete.”  Now we know what that unacceptable conduct was.  Allegedly.

Wednesday morning, mlive.com is reporting, Tuley-Tillman was charged with three felonies stemming from a Sept. 4 incident in which he’s accused of filming a sex act with a woman without her knowledge. Tuley-Tillman was officially charged with two counts of capturing/distributing an image of an unclothed person and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

From the report:

Capturing/distributing an image of an unclothed person is punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine of no more than $2,000, or both. Using a computer to commit a crime, in this case, would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of no more than $5,000, or both.

The incident occurred in the 300 block of Catherine Street Sept. 4. Tuley-Tillman is accused of filming a portion of a sexual encounter with a woman without her knowledge and then transmitting it to his personal device without her permission, according to Ann Arbor police.

Tuley-Tillman was a four-star member of Brady Hoke‘s second-to-last UM recruiting class, rated as the No. 24 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Illinois.  He played in one game as a redshirt freshman last season, the season opener against Appalachian State.

This season, he had been listed as the No. 2 left tackle and played in the 2015 opener.

WVU loses All-Big 12 DB Karl Joseph to season-ending knee injury

MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 29:  Karl Joseph #8 of the West Virginia Mountaineers tackles Jarred Salubi #21 of the Baylor Bears during the game on September 29, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  WVU defeated Baylor 70-63.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

One of the most talented players on the defensive side of the ball not only in the Big 12 but in the country has seen his season come to an abrupt end.

West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen announced Tuesday that Karl Joseph will miss the remainder of the 2015 season because of an injury to his right knee.  The hard-hitting safety sustained the injury in a non-contact drill during practice Tuesday.

The injury also marks the end of Joseph’s collegiate playing career as he’s off to the NFL next spring.

“I am devastated and heartbroken for Karl,” Holgorsen said in a statement. “He is a young man who has given everything he has to our football program and University over the past four years and who elected to return to WVU for his senior season to earn his degree and to be a part of something special with this team. He exemplifies what it means to be a Mountaineer. Karl is an All-American, a fierce competitor, a leader and I know he will have a full recovery, and I can’t wait to watch him on Sundays next fall.”

Joseph started all 42 games in which he played for the Mountaineers. He was first-team All-Big 12 last season, and his name littered numerous preseason All-American teams this year.

“I want to thank my teammates and my coaches for their outpouring of support,” Joseph said. “This has been difficult for me and my family but I know I will come through this stronger than ever. I will forever be a Mountaineer and will be cheering on our team every step of the way.”