Big East To Expand Football Membership, What About ECU?

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.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jon Location: Copeland on Nov 17, 2010 at 04:48 AM
    Wow,, after some of comments i have read i wonder if some of you are even pirate fannss?! Get a grip ima stick with my pirates wherever they may go!
  • by Pirated Location: NC on Nov 4, 2010 at 02:20 PM
    Ha ha ha ha. You're hilarious. Lots of words not much thought. The Pirates lose to everybody in the Big Least. Or is it Big Feast? Either way what u say dont mean squat anyway.
  • by Pirated Location: NC on Nov 4, 2010 at 02:13 PM
    Hey BK, every football team in the Big East is low level. If you haven't noticed, the Best Team year in and out is West Virginia and they are in last place in the standings. So I guess ECU can hold their own against any team from the Big Least period.
  • by ECU Gal on Nov 4, 2010 at 09:02 AM
    Check this out: http://chuckoliver.net/?p=10079 GO PIRATES!!!
  • by bk on Nov 3, 2010 at 05:33 PM
    ECU might be able to hold their own against low level big east football teams (cuse) but when it comes to basketball they"ll lose every game by 30
  • by geez on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:22 PM
    Why do people continually talk about market? Have you ever been to Athens, GA (UGA), Gainesville, FL (UF), Clemson, SC (Clemson), Auburn, AL (Auburn), Tuscaloosa, AL (Bama), Ann Arbor, MI (UM), Eugene, OR (UO) and the list goes on... These are all just college towns with the closest "big city" an hour or more away. That "market" bs is just some numbers guy thinking that because more people live in an area, they will watch things from that area. That's old school thinking, not the thinking in the 21st century. Pirate Nation is strong! Look at Boise & TCU, their conference is subpar at best; but they are a top story each weekend. (Sorry to use this), but all they do is win... And continued UNC/NCSU comments (geez), I could care less what UNC & NC State think or do. I'm a proud ECU graduate and look forward to continued support of my school and their teams no matter what conference they are in...
  • by SG Location: Washington on Nov 3, 2010 at 10:03 AM
    If they don't invite ECU they need to lose their BCS status. ECU puts more fans in the stands than any CUSA team and would rank about 3rd in attendance for the current Big East teams.
  • by R-Truth on Nov 3, 2010 at 09:57 AM
    The teams in the Big East are barely more talented than the ones in CUSA. No matter, ECU would still lose to every team in the BE conference.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Nov 3, 2010 at 08:06 AM
    One thing that would have created a special advantage was that had Ashley Woolard defeated G.K. Crookedfield, then we would have a diehard pirate and ECU Alum who would have been in the U.S. House of Representatives and could had used some of that political power to sway the Big East into leaning more and more toward ECU. The Big East would be a disgraceful and dumb conference to turn down a school who has beaten their 2nd place team and the ACC Champions along with other Big East (just about EVERY Big East team), ACC, and even SEC teams (South Carolina) in the past. The Big East should also know that ECU would pull in some top notch football talent from ACC territory west of I-95 as well, making even a better ECU football program than it already is. If the Big East were to not select ECU then everyone who voted to not allow ECU in should be fired IMMEDIATELY. This TV market might be smaller than some of the others but we also have Triangle, Tidewater and Richmond markets.
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Nov 3, 2010 at 07:54 AM
    To Anonymous @ 11-2 4:40 p.m. ECU has higher academic standards than Central Florida, Houston, and Memphis, heck, Memphis accepts people who don't even take the SAT's. Why do you think UCF has so many students? That school will accept anyone just about it. ECU has the upper hand on academics, facilities, overall athletic program, football program, and just as good of media coverage (which probably wont matter that much) as these other schools. ECU and the Big East need each other. Dave, ECU has beaten the 2nd place Big East team out of West Virginia in 2008. That's a sure sign ECU would do way more than just hang in with the Big East teams. As far as fans, ECU has plenty of OVERALL ECU fans like myself who pull for ECU in EVERYTHING. Basketball will have a better future with Coach Lebo and wont be like it has been. Baseball should be considered just as much, if not more than basketball, cause the Big East is already the best basketball conference, but FOOTBALL is the main focus.
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