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The GW Hatchet

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CBS Sports: Temple headed to Big East

David Pellom, men's basketball, Temple
Then-sophomore forward David Pellom drives to the net against Temple last season. | Hatchet File Photo

The wave of nation-wide conference realignment has reached the Atlantic 10, with reporting that Temple will leave the conference to join the Big East in 2012.

“One source told that Temple to the Big East in 2012 ‘is done’,” reported.

Temple sources denied that an oral agreement had been made to join the Big East to The Owls compete in the Mid-American Conference for football and the Atlantic 10 for all other sports, and need to reach an agreement with the MAC before formally announcing their departure to the Big East. The MAC’s exit fee is $2.5 million with two years notice, but it’s unknown what the exit fee would be when a school is providing less than a year’s notice.

The article added that leaving the A-10 with less than a year’s notice would cost Temple $2 million, but that figure would drop to $1 million should the school give more than a year’s notice.

“Because of the difference in exit fees Temple would pay the A-10, there remains a possibility Temple could join the Big East in football this fall, but its Olympic sports wouldn’t join the Big East until 2013,”’s Brett McMurphy reported.

Temple’s move is a boost to the Big East, which lost West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Texas Christian University this year. Though the Owls’ shift is yet to be made official, the announcement will likely come sometime next week, sources told Temple was one of the Big East’s original football members, but was expelled from membership in 2004 after failing to meet the league’s desired level of competition and financial requirements.

Both men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan and athletic director Patrick Nero affirmed GW’s solidarity to the Atlantic 10 earlier this year, when the Colonial Athletic Association reportedly contacted GW about joining its league. Though the departure of Temple would strip the A-10 of one of its strongest competitors, potentially changing the profile of the league, Nero said in October he believed the conference would remain strong amid departures. He added that the A-10 has been “proactive” in discussing and reaching out to other schools about joining the league’s ranks.

“I don’t see, right now, that the Atlantic 10 would lose multiple teams,” Nero previously said to The Hatchet. “If things happen around us that cause the Atlantic 10 to lose one program or two programs, we’ll continue to build on what we have and see who else is out there. Historically, if you look at who’s left the Atlantic 10, we’ve recovered to be as strong as ever.”

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