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Temple discusses Big East

It appears the board of trustees of Temple is meeting Wednesday via a conference call to decide if it wants to accept a Big East Conference invitation, if offered.

Discussions between the Big East and Temple regarding the Owls' joining the conference, possibly for all sports, are hitting the final stages.

Assuming Temple gets an invitation and accepts it, the school has to quickly negotiate exit fees.

The Owls are members of the Mid-American Conference for football and the Atlantic Ten for all other sports.

The MAC has a $2.5 million fee for an exit with two years' notice. So Temple would have to negotiate for an immediate exit similar to West Virginia's from the Big East.

The conference agreed to accept nearly $20 million from West Virginia so the school can join the Big 12 as a full member in July.

With West Virginia's departure, the Big East has only seven football teams in 2012. That's why it's important for the conference to add a football member as soon as possible.

"This is driven by the 2012 football schedule," Patrick J. O'Connor, chairman of Temple's board of trustees, told regarding the reason for the board meeting. "Because of that, decisions have to be made. There are time considerations."

If Temple does go for all sports, it could be next season, 2013, or 2014. The A-10's exit fee reportedly is $2 million with one year's notice.

"The board's job is to make a decision that impacts all of Temple's students," O'Connor told "It will affect where we are [athletically] over the next five to 10 years. It's a matter of where we want to be.

"We have two world-class coaches in football [Steve Addazio] and men's basketball [Fran Dunphy], and they belong on a national stage."

Temple's 23d-ranked men's basketball team is expected to make its fifth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Meanwhile, the football team is coming off a 9-4 record and a 37-15 victory over Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl in Addazio's first season at Temple. It was the Owls second bowl appearance in three seasons.