There are reports and rumors that something could in fact transpire as early as today, in order not to conflict with the Big East men's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden. The first round of the tournament is tomorrow. But conference sources familiar with the situation have told the Daily News that there is still "uncertainty." Their sense is that the more likely timetable is Wednesday, when the Big East presidents hold a regularly scheduled meeting in New York. Football is expected to be on the agenda.
Temple currently plays in the MAC for football and the Atlantic 10 for all other sports. It obviously wants to get into the Big East for everything. And most people feel that will also happen, but maybe not until at least 2013. The Owls will have to pay exit fees. Sources have said it would cost them $3.5 million to leave the MAC immediately, and $2 million to get out of the A-10. Less if they move later. But this stuff can be negotiated. Ask West Virginia. And the Big East could always help work things out, if need be.
Temple has also been approached by officials of Conference USA and the Mountain West, who just announced a merger. But the Big East, for all the obvious reasons, would seem to be the first option. And best, both financially and BCS-wise.
Patrick O'Connor, chairman of Temple's Board of Trustees, has told CSNPhilly.com, "We're still evaluating . . . what's best for Temple."