The news of Pittsburgh and Syracuse departing the Big East Conference for the Atlantic Coast Conference has left USF wondering its NCAA future. The Big East is looking to fulfill a gap securing the program’s future by making it more costly to leave. TCU was going to join the Big East, but opted to join the Big 12 instead.
A vote was held among current members on Oct. 17 on whether to increase exit fees from $5 million to $10 million. The announcement on Oct. 18 did not introduce any new members. Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said no schools have been invited to join the league contrary to media reports.
Reports suggest the Big East is looking to replace the leaving schools with Houston, Southern Methodist and Central Florida, while adding Air Force, Navy and Boise State in football only. Marinatto declined to identify any schools currently being targeted.
Standing in the way of those plans is the current merger plan from the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA to create a 22-team league in football only, with two divisions and a conference championship game. Boise State and Air Force are in the MWC while UCF, SMU and Houston are in Conference USA.
The Big East is left with six football members: Louisville, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Rutgers, Connecticut and USF. Notre Dame is football-independent but supports the Big Eas