PROVO, UTAH (AP) - The Big East has had discussions with BYU about giving up its football independence and joining the rebuilding conference.
Cougars football coach Bronco Mendenhall said the Big East approached the school about joining the league.
“There is a push and there are conversations that are in place for the Big East to convince or to have BYU join that conference,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday during his weekly news conference. “I trust our athletic director and President Samuelson to deal with all of that. I have been informed along the way. At some point there will be a decision with what our intentions will be.”
BYU is in its first year as a football independent after leaving the Mountain West Conference. Its other sports teams compete in the West Coast Conference.
The Big East is working to add new members and become a 12-team football conference, following the announced departures of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
The Big East wants to add Boise State, Air Force and Navy in football only and SMU, Houston and Central Florida in all sports, but would still need another member to eventually have 12.
Adding BYU would give the Big East a historically successful football program and allow the league to further bolster the western wing it’s building with Boise State, Air Force and the Texas schools.
The Big 12 and BYU had discussions about the Cougars joining that conference. Instead, the Big 12 added West Virginia from the Big East and TCU, which was slated to join the Big East in 2012.
Mendenhall said there does not seem to be any timetable on a possible decision by BYU, regarding the Big East.
“I don’t know how fast nor do I think a time frame is relevant at this point,” he said. “Certainly there are plenty of questions on our part that are in place but with the landscape changing, the main benefit I can see on a short term scale would be inclusion to the BCS system.
“That is up in two years and whether the Big East can hold that spot with the new teams going in, my guess would be yes. I can’t speak as to what we are going to do other than just to verify we have been approached. I wasn’t involved in anything else.”
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