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“Stay tuned, we’re working diligently,” he said. “We’re not going to rush ourselves. The sooner the better.”

The Big East currently has six football members committed to the conference beyond this season, and eight schools that do not compete in the league in football, including Notre Dame.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse have accepted invitations to join the Atlantic Coast Conference and TCU, previously scheduled to join the Big East in 2012, instead will join the Big 12.

And the Big East is in danger of losing more members. Officials from Boise State, Air Force and Navy have all expressed concerns about that.

“When you go from nine schools to six … we need to do our due diligence to ask how stable are the remaining six,” Gladchuk said.

Marinatto said the current Big East members are operating in “good faith” with one another.

“The exit fee it a sign of stability, but it’s not the only thing we’re looking at,” he said. “Everyone, given the environment that we’re all in is looking for one thing: stability.”

Including Missouri, which is considering leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, a move that would leave the Big 12 in need of at least one more member.

The Missouri board of curators will meet Thursday and Friday in Kansas City, though it has not announced whether a decision about a conference will be made then.

Big East members West Virginia and Louisville are potential Big 12 replacements for Missouri.

An even worse scenario for the Big East has the Big 12 taking Louisville, West Virginia and Cincinnati from the Big East to get back to 12 members if Missouri leaves.

Marinatto said Big East officials have not discussed the possibility of being whittled down to a point where it would have to give up football.

The league has made protecting its status as an automatic qualifier in the Bowl Championship Series a priority.

“We’re designing a plan that would include schools that would help us to do that,” Marinatto said.

Adding Boise State, one of the most successful football programs in the country over the last decade, is the linchpin to that plan. Losing AQ status would cost the Big East millions of dollars in revenue and limit its members opportunities to compete for a national championship.

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