The presidents of the 14 remaining Big East schools met on campus Sunday and voted unanimously to authorize Commissioner John Marinatto to “aggressively pursue discussions with a select number of institutions that have indicated a strong interest” in joining the conference.
The meeting had been scheduled before last month’s announcement that Syracuse and Pittsburgh will leave the Big East to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. The meeting was originally supposed to center on discussion of the conference’s upcoming television rights negotiations, but expansion was added to the agenda in light of the departures.
According to ESPN.com’s Andy Katz, a source with knowledge of the meeting said Navy, Army, Air Force, Temple, Central Florida and SMU were among a number of schools discussed as possible targets for expansion. The source told Katz that the conference did not issue any invitations Sunday.
The presidents also discussed when Syracuse and Pittsburgh will leave the Big East. Both schools wish to join the ACC for the 2012-13 season, but Marinatto would like to hold the schools to the 27-month exit requirement.
In a statement released after Sunday’s meeting, the league said its presidents are also “actively considering changes to the conference’s governing bylaws to further solidify the membership of the conference.”