Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Big East denies report of upcoming invitations to UCF, Memphis

TAMPA — Eight, it would seem, is enough for Big East football, for now.

The conference denied an Orlando TV report that invitations could go as early as next week to Conference USA schools Central Florida and Memphis, with associate commissioner John Paquette saying WKMG-TV's report was "not true."

In recent months the Big East's future seemed uncertain because of the prospect of the Big Ten raiding multiple schools as it sought to expand. That threat is gone for the immediate future, with the league settling at 12 teams with the addition of Nebraska, but there's nothing to stop such a raid from happening next summer.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto did not return a call, but he has consistently said the conference hasn't added a ninth football member because there hasn't been an available school that would bring value to the league.

When the Big East was raided in 2003-04, the league turned to C-USA, plucking USF, Cincinnati and Louisville, as well as DePaul and Marquette as nonfootball members. The current C-USA teams most often mentioned as possible additions are UCF, East Carolina and Memphis.

That list hasn't changed, and the league hasn't been concerned enough to pre-emptively add depth to its football lineup.

"The Big East has been in a bunker mentality, hoping to keep enough of its eight current (football) members to remain a viable (I-A) conference with automatic qualification for BCS bowl games," ECU athletic director Terry Holland wrote in a letter to fans last week. "… The 'internal' solution of choice is for Notre Dame to agree to move their football program into the Big East. As long as there is the slightest possibility this could happen, the Big East will not close the door on that possibility by adding someone else as the ninth member."

UCF, in addition to a large media market, would give the Big East another Florida presence, allowing all its football schools to play in Tampa or Orlando every year to aid in recruiting.

Big East denies report of upcoming invitations to UCF, Memphis 06/17/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays relishing surprise status

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays on Friday played their first post-All-Star Game contest at Tropicana Field while holding a playoff spot since Sept. 23, 2013.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    So, that's what …

    Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brad Miller (13) gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after his solo home run in the fourth inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Looks like LF Corey Dickerson is coming out of his funk at the plate — .186 average in past 16 games entering Friday. He had two hits Wednesday in Oakland and three hits Friday against the Rangers. Okay, one was an infield hit that bounced high in front of the plate, but the other was a long home run to …

  5. History shows Ole Miss upheaval tough to overcome

    College

    After Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday, with the opener six weeks away, offensive line coach Matt Luke is being thrown into an interim head coaching position. He will try to save a season that already had been scarred by a self-imposed bowl ban for NCAA violations.

    After coach Jim Tressel resigned, Ohio State went 6-7, including a loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl, in 2011.