Pitt, Syracuse to stay until 2014?

One of the biggest unresolved questions about Pitt and Syracuse moving to the ACC is when the teams would actually get to join their new conference.

Big East bylaws require 27 months' notice before exiting. Pitt chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said on a conference call Sunday he hoped that timetable could be revisited to determine whether it serves everybody's best interests. But Big East commissioner John Marinatto told The New York Times that he would hold both schools to the 27-month requirement, meaning they would have to stay in the league until June 2014.

I understand that Marinatto wants to follow conference bylaws, but I have to wonder how forcing the two teams to stay helps anybody out. I also wonder whether this stance would change depending on the a potential merger with the Big 12. Should a deal be worked out there, it will be interesting to see how quickly everyone can begin play together. Nebraska, Colorado and Utah only had to stay in their old conferences for one year before joining their new leagues.

Meanwhile, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson has had several conversations with TCU to gauge whether the program has any interest in re-joining the league should the Big East fall apart.

Marinatto seemed confident that would not happen in his interview with The Times, reiterating what he said in a statement Saturday night. "The dynamics that are taking place within the college landscape today may create even greater opportunities for the conference to not only survive, but thrive,” Marinatto told the newspaper.