Big East to 'aggressively pursue' potential new members

At a meeting Sunday at Georgetown University in Washington, Big East presidents and chancellors authorized commissioner John Marinatto to "aggressively pursue discussions" with potential schools interested in joining the league.

Representatives of the 14 remaining Big East members and TCU had scheduled the meeting even before Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced last month that they were joining the ACC. Marinatto has said he wants to hold the Orange and Panthers to the 27-month departure requirement even though the schools would like to leave for the 2012-13 season.

The purpose of the meeting orignally was to discuss the conference's TV rights negotiations, but the defections of two schools put the issue of expansion onto the table.

According to, the league did not issue any invitations Sunday but a number of schools were discussed at the meeting, including Navy, Army, Air Force, Temple, Central Florida and SMU. The Mustangs would be an intriguing possibility because they would give TCU a natural rival in the league. Each of the aforementioned schools would join the Big East for all sports, except Army and Navy.

While Connecticut would prefer to move to the ACC, it doesn't look like ACC commissioner John Swofford has any designs on expanding beyond 14 after adding Pitt and Syracuse.

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