PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Big East conference has unanimously agreed to expand the number of football-playing schools to 10. The Big East made the announcement after Tuesday's board of directors meeting in Philadelphia.
Commissioner John Marinatto says potential expansion candidates will start to be evaluated. The 16-member Big East has eight teams playing football. The conference informed Villanova in September that it wants to add them to the conference.
The Wildcats currently play in the Colonial Athletic Association. Villanova won the FCS national championship last year and would move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Other potential ways of expansion include inviting programs outside the conference to join them.
The New York Post recently reported that possible options include TCU, Houston, Central Florida, Temple and Villanova who would move up from FCS.
East Carolina has positioned itself to be an attractive target having expanded Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to a capacity of 50,000 while already setting new attendance records in 2010. The university has also upgraded soccer and softball facilities on campus whith talks of more expansion to the football stadium and a new basketball practice arena in the future.
espn.com has reported that ECU, Memphis and Temple are also candidates.
WITN is currently awaiting a statement from ECU Athletic Director Terry Holland with his thoughts on the Big East expansion talks. WITN will post thos comments as soon as they are received.