PHILADELPHIA - John Marinatto, Commissioner of the BIG EAST Conference, issued the following statement after the annual meeting of the BIG EAST Conference Presidents. "We had a very productive meeting and were able to discuss the great progress we have made in the last few weeks regarding conference realignment.
"Our Presidents voted unanimously to extend invitations to specific institutions, including both football-only and all-sport members to join the BIG EAST Conference. I will be speaking to representatives of those schools shortly and look forward to announcing with them their acceptance into the BIG EAST.
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.
"In light of the lawsuit filed by West Virginia yesterday, the Presidents also discussed and confirmed our continuing commitment to enforce the Conference's 27-month notification period for schools choosing to leave. 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."