Hey, better late than never, right?
And by late, I mean the Big East lost three members — one of which never even officially joined — within a matter of weeks because the commissioner (John Marinatto) failed to see the writing on the walls last summer by not hiking up exit fees and screwing around with Villanova when better options were clearly available.
Now that the league is down to six football members, four of which have wandering eyes, the league is doing what it should have done at least a year ago.
Sources have told CBS Sports’ Brett McMurphy, the man on the forefront of the departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, that the Big East reached out to Central Florida on Monday, likely setting the stage for a potential invite now that the conference has decided it will attempt to expand to 12 teams.
As of a few weeks ago, Central Florida did not appear to be on the Big East’s immediate radar even after the departures of Pitt and Syracuse because the conference was not looking to immediately expand into states where current members reside.
“What is happening is the league, or the conference, now is looking at schools and they have looked very much at schools that are not in any of the states that are represented by the Big East schools right now,” said University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft last month. “The ones that they’re looking at right now, they do not sit in any state that the Big East schools currently are in.”
Frankly, that attitude, that lack of urgency, is a big part of why the Big East is in the position it’s in right now. If the Big East decides to extend an invitation to Central Florida — Air Force, Boise State, East Carolina, Navy and Temple have also been mentioned as candidates — it’ll be a good move.
It will also be one that makes you wonder what took so long?