UPDATED 3/2 @ 3:40 p.m. ET: If Temple is going to join the Big East, the biggest hurdle for the Owls is agreeing on an exit settlement with its football conference, the MAC. Brett McMurphy of CBS reports that “Temple has given the Big East a verbal agreement it will join the league in 2012” but must finalize a settlment with the MAC.
For the record, Temple has denied any such verbal agreement.
As we noted below, the MAC’s exit fee is $2.5 million… but that’s with two-year’s notice of departure; we’re around six months from the start of the 2012 college football season. A source told CBSSports there was no specific penalty for a school that wanted to leave earlier than two years.
It is possible Temple could leave the MAC for the Big East in 2012, but delay an all-sports membership until 2013. The Owls currently compete in the Atlantic-10 for non-football sports.
An announcement on Temple’s future could come as soon as Monday, as the Big East doesn’t want any expansion news to conflict with the Big East basketball tournament in New York.
Good to see the Big East still knows where its priorities are.
Any chance of Temple potentially accepting an invite as an all-sports member of the Big East can be put on hold — for now.
The school’s Board of Trustees were all set to meet today via teleconference to discuss the future of the athletic program; it’s believed the Owls were prepared, or were very close to deciding, to leave its football home in the MAC (and Atlantic 10 home for all other sports) and joining the Big East to fill the scheduling void left by West Virginia.
If that happens, it all but certainly won’t be announced today. The Temple News reports that the athletics meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. today has been cancelled. Temple’s Vice President of University Communications Ray Betzner didn’t specify a reason to the student newspaper as to why the meeting was nixed, but added the executive committee of the Board of Trustees will meet at 2 p.m. to “discuss contracts.”
If Temple left to join the Big East, it would reportedly have to pay $2 million to the A-10 and at least a $2.5 million to the MAC, according to the paper. With the 2012 season now just six months away, though, it wouldn’t be surprising if there was emphasis put on the “at least” part of that $2.5 million.
“We’re not going to do it if it is a negative,” said the school’s BOT chairman, Patrick J. O’Connor yesterday about the financial implications of moving to the Big East. “If it is a net positive, we’ll do it. We’re not going to spend money to lose money.”
West Virginia will pay $20 million to leave the Big East, and the conference is in dire need of an eighth football member. After some rumors and discussion, it was decided earlier this month that Boise State, set to join the conference in 2013, could not leave the Mountain West a year early and join the Big East right away.