The Big East will extend football-only invites to Boise State, Navy and Air Force and all-sports invites to SMU, Houston and Central Florida, according to a Tuesday report from the Associated Press. The report cited an anonymous source with knowledge of the situation.
The league's presidents met Tuesday with president John Marinatto in Philadelphia, where Marinatto told reporters the league had voted to invite football-only and all-sports schools, but would not say how many or which schools the league would invite. He did say the league would expand westward.
"As we've learned over the last two months, don't believe anything anybody tells you. Nothing's done until it is over," Marinatto said. "So I'm obviously being very cautious and that's why I'm reluctant to say names of schools."
Marinatto has met with officials at Boise State, Air Force and UCF and while the invitations have not been sent yet, UCF spokesman Grant Heston indicated to ESPN's Joe Schad that the school was expecting an invitation at some point in the near future.
"The addition of these members will extend our reach, bring us to exciting new markets, strengthen our status within the BCS, and lay the foundation for possible further expansion, all while maintaining the high quality and standards our conference is known for," Marinatto said in a statement of the schools the league plans to invite.
Marinatto added the league plans to hold Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia for the duration of the 27-month waiting period before they are contractually allowed to leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference. West Virginia filed a lawsuit Monday saying that the league broke its contract with the school and that WVU should be allowed to move immediately as a result.
"The conference believes these claims to be wholly without merit and will explore all its legal options to protect its interests and to ensure that West Virginia lives up to its obligations," Marinatto said.
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