Athletic directors from Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Miami will meet Wednesday to discuss which schools will join them in forming a Big East football conference, a Big East official said Tuesday.
Also attending the meeting in the nation's capital will be Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese.Big East spokesman John Paquette said by telephone from the conference's headquarters in Providence, R.I., that Tranghese does not expect any formal invitations to come out of the discussions.
"We are going to meet with our football athletic directors who have been meeting on a semiregular basis," said Paquette, adding the conference did not expect a formal announcement on the matter until January. No timetable for the start of league play has been determined.
The Philadelphia Daily News reported Tuesday that during Wednesday's meeting, the four athletic directors will vote to assimilate independents Temple, Rutgers, West Virginia and Virginia Tech into the Big East football-only conference.
"It looks like a done deal," the Daily News quoted a Big East source as saying. "The votes are there."
The four athletic directors are Ed Bozik of Pitt, Sam Jankovich of Miami, Jake Crouthamel of Miami and Bill Flynn of Boston College. However, Flynn will soon be succeeded by Chet Gladchuk.
"The speculation that this is a definitive, decisionmaking meeting is premature," said Bozik. "There may be an announcement in January or February. We're a period of time away from formal announcements and final decisions."
Said Reid Oslin, a spokesman for the Boston College athletic department, "I know (the Big East is) interested in setting the timetable. To do it by January would be relatively quick by athletic standards."
Paquette said the Big East has contacted more schools than those mentioned by the Daily News. He said the Big East has not yet determined how many teams will be in the football conference.
Temple Athletic Director Charles Theokas said the grouping of the East Coast's major independent football teams will improve the school's prospects for bowl bids and "give our program more clout."
"The reality is it's 1990 and the reality is you need to be in conferences for TV, bowls, scheduling, competitive games," Theokas said. "The day of the independent is slowly, but surely diminishing."
Mike Parsons, assistant athletic director at West Virginia, said his school has yet to receive an invitation to join a Big East football conference.
"We have filled out some questionnaires for fact-gathering that they've requested," he said.