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Report: Temple Prepared To Join The Big East in 2012 If MAC Exit Can Be Negotiated

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According to a report from CBS Sports' Brett McMurphy, Temple has given the Big East a verbal agreement to join the conference for the 2012-2013 season. The agreement is only verbal now because Temple must now begin the process of negotiating a buyout from its current football home, the MAC. McMurphy writes:

Temple has given the Big East a verbal agreement it will join the league in 2012, but an official announcement can not be made until the Owls finalize their settlement to leave the Mid-American Conference, sources told CBSSports.com.

The Big East wants to make the announcement that Temple is joining by Monday so it won’t conflict with the Big East men’s basketball tournament, which starts Tuesday in New York. Whether it will happen that quickly depends on the Owls’ negotiations with the MAC.

The MAC’s exit fee is $2.5 million for schools that provide two years notice. However, there is no specific penalty for a school leaving with less than two years notice, a source told CBSSports.com.

Adding Temple would solve the Big East's short term need for an 8th football playing member for next season, and it will give the Big East 12 football playing members in 2013 once Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU, Memphis, and Central Florida join. Having 12 football teams will allow the conference to play a conference championship football game before Navy also joins as a football-only member in 2015.

McMurphy also points out that due to possible payouts required to leave, Temple could keep its other sports in the Atlantic 10 for an additional season and only play football in the Big East in 2012.

Stay tuned to the Big East Expansion section for the latest news on Temple and other possible additions.