UPDATE 19: Big East feels confident even if God fordbid another school leaves for another conference. We'll have a full article on the teleconference but the main highlights:
1) Possible Big East championship game in New York City
2) No schools have currently been offered to join the conference
3) Exit fee immediately jumps to $10 million as soon as a school (Air Force/Navy) commits to joining the Big East
4) Notre Dame is very committed to the conference
5) There have been no discussions on disbanding the league if a doomsday scenario happens.
UPDATE 18: Teleconference call just ended with Marinatto saying that the conference will not allow Pittsburgh and Syracuse to leave for the ACC early, even if it has 14 football playing schools after its expansion efforts are over.
UPDATE 17: Our basketball schools continue to be in a supportive manner to our football schools. Message has been we want to help to keep this together because we appreciate from a bball perspective the superiority the conference has had over the years.
UPDATE 16: Part of interest in 12 teams is to have a conference championship game, possibly in New York City like Big East basketball tournament.
UPDATE 15: Fee jumps to $10 million as soon as a school joins, i.e. Air Force, Navy, etc.
UPDATE 14: Marinatto says that no conference has approached the Big East since the Big 12 offered TCU
UPDATE 13: Marinatto says that Conference USA-Mountain West proposed alliance doesn't have any effect on Big East's expansion plans.
UPDATE 12: Notre Dame has worked side by side with our other 13 schools over the past 21 months. Notre Dame possibly the most committed to conference. They like the model and are excited about it going forward.
UPDATE 11: People look at our conference is a very attractive place to be for all that we represent. Not the only thing people are looking at RE: exit fee.
UPDATE 10: No discussions have been had to disband the football side of the conference if the amount of football schools drops any further.
UPDATE 9: Marinatto: Mountain time zone doesn't create any new time zone challenges when they were reviewing the issue a year ago.
UPDATE 8: Marinatto says that conference won't pause to wait to see what Missouri decides to do. And feels all conferences are committed to staying in conference based on last night's conference call with all schools.
UPDATE 7: On conference expansion: I think there's a right way of doing things. Will do it an open manner and that our new members will be forthcoming when they are departing. No one will feel blindsides or bushwhacked.
UPDATE 6: Basketball will be factored in to expansion, but Big East has a certain outline on what it wants to do. Includes looking at academics and others.
UPDATE 5: Marinatto says there is no magic number for exit fee to prevent a school from leaving conference.
UPDATE 4: Big East denies reports that any official invitations have been given out, including Houston.
UPDATE 3: Big East hopes to make moves soon, but not going to rush. Marinatto feels confident that Big East automatic qualifier will happen going forward.
UPDATE 2: Can't publicly identify what schools they are speaking to but very happy with quality of schools that are interested in joining conference.
UPDATE 1:Just about to start here on the Big East teleconference. Commissioner John Marinatto will make an opening statement and then answer questions from the media.
Marinatto confirms earlier reports that conference has unanimously agreed to increase exit fee to $10 million and to grow to 12 football-playing schools.
Big East commissioner John Marinatto has set a teleconference call with reporters at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss conference expansion and raising the conference's buyout fee to $10 million.
Marinatto is expected to announce the buyout increase and could also discuss shortening the current 27-month waiting period in order to leave the conference, according to the New York Post.
He is not expected to announce any official invitations to join the Big East so that the announcement doesn't overshadow Wednesday's men's basketball media day.
Despite the refusal to announce any official invitations, multiple media outlets are reporting that the Big East has already extended invitations. The Houston Chronicle reported on Monday that the conference had already extended an invitation to join, while the Dallas Morning News reported that SMU could be in line for an invite within the next few days.
Houston's president and athletic director are expected to travel to New York later this week to meet with Big East officials and could join the conference as soon as 2013, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Those reports are in addition to reports last week that Air Force, Boise State, Central Florida, and Navy all had open standing invitations to join the Big East.
The expansion targets are an effort by the conference to grow to 12 football-playing schools. Currently the conference has six football schools -- UConn, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, and West Virginia -- meaning that the conference needs to add six more schools to reach its goal.
The conference hopes that the addition of the six schools could help add stability, as well as help the conference keep its BCS automatic qualifying status.
But even with the good news that came with the bickering Big East schools finally agreeing to raise the exit fee, the conference experienced another setback with news that Missouri would be applying to join the SEC in the near future.
The New York Times first reported that Missouri would be applying to join the SEC in the very near future -- possibly as early as Thursday or Friday -- and the SEC was expected to accept the school's application to be the league's 14th team.
Missouri deciding to leave for the SEC means that the Big 12 now needs to add one or three more teams to its current nine school conference. When previously discussing the possibility of Missouri heading to the SEC, Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas stated that the conference would then expand to either 10 or 12 teams, but there was no current consensus on what number to expand to.
If the Big 12 decides to expand to 12 teams, it would be bad news for the Big East. The most talked about expansion targets for the Big 12 are BYU, Louisville, and West Virginia. Both Louisville and West Virginia would likely accept a Big 12 offer -- even after agreeing to a higher Big East exit fee.
If the Big 12 was to offer and accept Louisville and West Virginia, the Big East might finally reach its doomsday scenario. The conference might be unable to get Houston and the other schools to agree to join the conference if teams continue to be poached by bigger and more financially stable conferences.
The International Business Times will provide live coverage of the event and frequently update this page during the call.