- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Big East Commissioner John Marinatto says all the members of his conference are committed to staying together.

The presidents and athletic directors from the Big East football schools met for 3 hours at a Manhattan hotel Tuesday.

Marinatto says each member pledged to remain in the conference and the league is aggressively searching for replacements for Pittsburgh and Syracuse. He says the non-football members also are on board.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) _ As the Big East tries to figure out a survival strategy, the Pac-12 is nearing a decision on whether it wants to stretch farther east.

Big East football school officials were meeting Tuesday night in New York City to discuss the league’s future, and a Pac-12 official expects conference presidents in that league to decide by the end of the week if they want to expand again.

The Big East is trying to figure out what’s next now that Pittsburgh and Syracuse have announced they are leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Three people with knowledge of the Big East meeting told The Associated Press that presidents and athletic directors from the conference’s six remaining football members, along with officials from TCU, which is slated to join in 2012, were expected to meet with Commissioner John Marinatto. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the meeting, which was first reported by USA Today.

The remaining Big East football schools are West Virginia, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Rutgers, Louisville and South Florida.

The future of the Big East could be tied to the future of the Big 12.

Although Syracuse and Pittsburgh know where they’re headed, Texas and Oklahoma both are trying to decide whether to leave the Big 12 for the Pac-12, taking Oklahoma State and Texas Tech with them.

Both universities’ board of regents voted Monday to give their presidents the right to choose a new conference. And Oklahoma State’s regents have scheduled a special meeting Wednesday afternoon about conference realignment.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren has said the two in-state rivals will remain in the same league whether they decide to stay in the Big 12 or join the Pac-12.

“Whatever we do, we’re going to do it together, and I think that’s very good news for the state of Oklahoma,” Boren said.

Should the Oklahoma schools decide to leave _ and the Pac-12 agrees to take them _ it could be the death knell for the Big 12, which already lost Nebraska and Colorado last summer and will lose Texas A&M if the Aggies are able to resolve legal issues that have their planned move to the Southeastern Conference on hold.

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