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Big East looks west; will invite Boise, Air Force, and Navy

  • MEL OTA / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    Hawaii's Mana Silva dragged down Boise State's Austin Pettis after Pettis made one of his eight receptions.
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NEW YORK >> The Big East plans to invite Boise State, Air Force and Navy as football-only members, and Central Florida to compete in all sports, after it doubles the exit fee for current members to $10 million.

An official in the Big East, speaking on condition of anonymity because the conference had not authorized anyone to speak publicly about its plans, told The Associated Press the invites could go out as soon as next week, but could take longer.

The officials also said Commissioner John Marinatto was in Cincinnati on Friday meeting with representatives from UCF.

Conferences do not publicly invite new members unless they are confident those invitations will be accepted.

The New York Post first reported the Big East was expected to invite Boise State, Air Force, Navy and UCF.

The Big East announced earlier this week it wanted to expand to 12 football schools.

Big East officials made protecting the league’s automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series their expansion priority. That pushed Boise State, which is in its first season in the Mountain West Conference after a decade in the Western Athletic Conference, to the top of the Big East’s most wanted list, along with the service academies.

The Broncos are 71-5 since 2006, finished 10th in the final BCS standing last season and at 5-0 seem on their way to an under-top 10 finish. Big East officials believe putting Boise State’s record on the Big East’s ledger when the BCS reviews which leagues should have automatic bids beyond 2013 should allow the conference to make the cut.

Right now, the Big East has only six schools committed to play football in the league beyond this season.

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