No SMU news from Big East teleconference

Big East commissioner John Marinatto held a media teleconference Tuesday afternoon to discuss conference realignment. To an SMU fan's dismay, Marinatto was mum about extending invitations to certain institutions and does not have a timetable as to when announcements will be made.

Unfortunately for SMU fans, there was no exciting news to take away from Big East commissioner John Marinatto's conference call this afternoon.

He said that last night, Big East presidents voted unanimously to double the conference exit fee from $5 million to $10 million, based on the execution of an expansion plan.

The plan, which has been widely reported, would consist of the addition of Boise State, Air Force and Navy being added to the Big East as football-only schools, while they're looking at SMU, Houston and Central Florida as all-sport members.

This would form a 12-school football model, providing Louisville and West Virginia keep their commitment to the league.

Marinatto said in his opening statement that he "cannot go into specifics or identify by name which institutions we are speaking to. There's lots of speculation we simply won't respond to until we have announcements to make."

Obviously it's well-known which institutions the Big East is looking at, as stated above.

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday night that UH received an invitation to the conference. When asked to confirm that, Marinatto said, "no invitations had gone out."

When asked what his timetable is as far as adding teams, Marinatto said that they are not waiting to see what happens with Missouri possibly going to the SEC. He did not say there was a specific date, just, "sooner the better."

Marinatto said he is confident that "God forbid" another schools leaves, the Big East will survive.

"I think we'll be fine," he said.

He also said the conference is committed to keeping its AQ status.


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