Multiple reports over the past several days have indicated that the Big East would extend invitations to anywhere from four to six schools on Monday in the hopes of expanding the conferences football membership from six to 12.
Based on one report, however, those invitations could come later on in the week than first anticipated.
Citing a conference source, the New York Post‘s Lenn Robbins is reporting that invitations will not be officially sent until the Big East votes to raise exit fees from the current $5 million to at least $10 million. That vote is expected to take place either today or tomorrow. However, extending the invitations will not take place, per the Post, until sometime after Wednesday. Why? Out of respect for the bouncing ball sport that made the Big East what it is.
From the paper’s report:
The league does not want talk of expansion to overshadow the basketball players and coaches, so no invitations will be extended before Wednesday, the source made clear. Basketball is what the Big East was built on, though the rich blood of football money is what will keep it thriving.
Wednesday, the Big East will hold its annual media days. Regardless of whether official invitations are sent before or after that event, however, expansion is expected to dominate the conversation, so the delay is essentially unnecessary.
Be that as it may, the invitations are expected to be forthcoming in short order. On the receiving end of those invites are expected to be Boise State, Air Force and Navy as football-only members, and current Conference USA members Houston, SMU and UCF.
“Everybody realizes there is a window of opportunity here to get these six teams,” a conference official told the Associated Press over the weekend.