JOHN PAQUETTE: Welcome, everybody. The Big East has announced the addition of Temple University as a member of the Big East conference.
We're going to ask everybody for some opening remarks and then we're going to ask for some questions from the media.
JOHN MARINATTO: Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for coming. Today is an exciting day for the Big East conference. I'm pleased to formally announce that Temple has accepted an invitation to join the BIG EAST conference as a football playing member effective July 1, 2012, and as an all sports playing member effective July 1 of 2013. The BIG EAST Conference, board of directors voted unanimously this morning to extend an invitation for full membership to Temple University upon a motion made by Villanova University father Peter Donahue and seconded by the president of the University of Louisville, James Ramsey.
I would like to welcome Temple University and its 22 varsity sports and almost 700 student athletes, alumni and fans to the BIG EAST Conference. The addition of Temple gives the BIG EAST a total of 18 full members and 13 that compete in the sport of fast break.
Temple Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw and I first met to explore possible BIG EAST Conference membership well over a year ago, and our discussions intensified over the past several weeks. I also had the pleasure of working with Board Chair Pat O'Connor and General Counsel George Moore to bring a potential partnership together.
It didn't take long for us to confirm that Temple University would be a great complement to the BIG EAST Conference's future makeup. Our decision to invite Temple was based on a number of important factors, including its long standing tradition as a basketball powerhouse, its renewed commitment to competing at the highest level in football, and the great value in adding the Philadelphia television market to our football footprint.
In addition, Temple University is a highly regarded academic institution that is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
As we prepare for the future and our new membership structure, I am proud to say that the BIG EAST Conference has improved its total television household's footprint by over 20 percent, including 13 of the top 50 markets, spanning four time zones. We have added the potential for a football championship game as soon as 2013. We moved to a balanced eight game league schedule in football, and our members represent six of the top ten football recruiting states in the country.
In men's basketball, the new BIG EAST features 16 teams that have competed in the Final Four, for a total of 50 Final Four appearances. That's four more than the present day membership encompasses. We are extremely pleased with our expansion efforts and are very confident that the future of the BIG EAST is as bright as it has ever been.
To that end, we will take a pause on the expansion front, having met our expansion objectives. We now transition our focus to the future and specifically our upcoming television negotiations.
I would be remiss if I also didn't take this opportunity to formally and publicly acknowledge the leadership that Villanova University demonstrated during these negotiations. Father Donahue and his team were supportive of adding their long time rival and worked very hard with us to address the potential and any potential conflicts that the addition of Temple could create. The BIG EAST membership is grateful to Villanova and its dedication to the conference.
In closing, I would like to once again offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude to President Hart and Bill for their patience and support as we worked to create this partnership. I look forward to having the two of you on our side of the table when we work together in the future. Thank you all again for your interest.
JUDY GENSHAFT: Well, this is a very exciting time today, and as we welcome another outstanding institution to the BIG EAST Conference. Adding a traditional academic and athletic powerhouse like Temple University to the new BIG EAST Conference will provide further brand quality, competitive strength and academic prestige to our ongoing membership makeup.
Temple University is nationally ranked and is an urban public research university that offers 40 doctoral degree programs, 121 Master's Degree programs, and many programs that contribute to research and scholarship. The Temple University student athletes are among the best the institution has to offer, both on the field and in the classroom.
Last year, 343 student athletes were honored for earning cumulative grade point averages above 3.0 for a semester. 11 Owl teams compiled GPAs of above 3.0 for a semester. In 2011 fall semester, 80 student athletes made the conference honor roll.
As chair of the BIG EAST board of directors and president of the University of South Florida, I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding support and collegiality that Villanova President, Father Peter Donahue, has demonstrated throughout this process. Villanova University has been a proud member of the BIG EAST Conference since 1981 and is a significant contributor to the BIG EAST as any in the history of the league.
I know I speak on behalf of all of our presidents when I say that we appreciate all of the support from Temple's administration and look forward to working together with them and competing with them in the very near future. Thank you.
FATHER PETER DONOHUE: As you know, Villanova University has been a member of the BIG EAST for 30 years, and in that time, we've seen, or we've proven ourselves athletically with many successes, 10 NCAA team titles and over 75 BIG EAST Conference champions in one sport or another. Our men's basketball team played in two NCAA Final Fours and taking home the national championship in 1985.
Over those 30 years, we've seen many changes, both in the BIG EAST and in the Philadelphia sports market, and today's announcement is positive for all three organizations, for the BIG EAST, for Villanova University and for Temple University.
Since other people will talk about the competitive and rivalry between Villanova and Temple on the athletic field, I'd like to just talk a little bit about the collaborations we've had for a long time in other areas, as well. Our two great Philadelphia institutions are about 12 miles apart. I think that's about the same distance as Duke and Chapel Hill.
But when it comes to working together on issues of higher education in the Philadelphia region, there is no gap between us. I recall that since 2005 our College of Engineering has been a partnership with Temple University on a storm water management project called the Temple Villanova Sustainable Storm Water Initiative. For seven years now, our students, Temple and Villanova, have worked together. Our students have learned together. And we have applied for and won grants together. And we have helped small municipalities implement their best practices.
Last fall, our region saw flooding and record rainfall that made this project even more important. Now, I'm not comparing college athletes to storm water, but you can take it whatever way you want it. It's because our two universities have had a long history and mutual respect for each other and for the greater welfare of the Philadelphia community. Today's announcement is another step in our work together. This time athletics, and Philadelphia sports fans are among the many beneficiaries of this. We work closely with the BIG EAST Conference presidents to insight Temple University into our conference in a way that strengthens the conference and boosts both individual schools. This is a foundation for how we move forward and for all to succeed in the nation's fourth largest media market.
This move enhances our rivalry and recognizes the equity that Villanova has built for the BIG EAST athletics in Philadelphia over the last three decades. The BIG EAST also gave us a vote of confidence in our football program by helping us to position it to move forward for a possible FBS level competition, and I want to express my gratitude for the strong demonstration and support that Villanova has received from the BIG EAST. In fact, every aspect of today's announcement ultimately relates back to strengthening the conference and its member institution's athletic programs, and that is good.
So I believe that everyone sits here in front of you today very proud with the outcome that we are able to move forward collaboratively, and to be consistent with the missions of our institutions and the values that we place on student athletes.
It's critical that the conference and both universities succeed in Philadelphia, even as my loyalty and obligation is to Villanova, we recognized early on that we could not achieve that we could achieve this win win win, which ultimately we did. We just needed time to work through all the issues together, and so to the BIG EAST I want to say that we look forward to a very bright future. And to Temple, I wish you good luck in Atlanta City, and we look forward to our continued friendship and partnership on the court and off the court. Thank you.
LEWIS KATZ: Well, on behalf of Temple, we're happy that the commissioner and the president and my friend to my left had all the time they needed to let us to come home to the BIG EAST. It's a wonderful, wonderful day for Temple University athletics, for its student body, and for all in Philadelphia that love the rivalry that used to be something called the Big Five.
So we come, I speak for our president, our chairman, our athletic director, our two extraordinary coaches, Coach Addazio and Coach Dunphy who's with his team in Atlantic City and couldn't be here today to tell you that by accepting us, you have given us the opportunity to change our programs, not only because our financial world is now stabilized as a result of the BIG EAST allowing us to come in and helping us to come in in the most generous fashion by helping us to exit the MAC, but more importantly, for me, I'm one of the old timers, so when we left I was the only one up here that remembers leaving.
So to my friend, we're happy to be back, and I also look forward to our continuing athletic competition on the court, our friendship off the court.
It's good when schools in the same community can accomplish what Villanova and Temple have accomplished, and I'd also like to thank a man who's not here, Al Golden, who really started the Temple football program with extraordinary recruitment to begin our rise to the top, which has been picked up and actually excelled through Coach Steve Addazio.
And lastly, sometimes the people that work in the ditches don't always get the proper recognition. There's a gentleman in the back who has worked day and night for years to bring this to fruition. He's our incredible counsel, George Moore, who's sitting as usual in the last seat, who has put himself through all kinds of gyrations to bring this agreement to fruition. So George, we at Temple University are very proud of you and proud to have you lead us in this venture. So everybody come on down and watch us kick Villanova's butt one more time. (Laughter).
BILL BRADSHAW: So at 6:30 this morning, I'm driving down the Schuylkill, right by the Gladwyne exit heading east to Temple and the sun is shinning and there is not a cloud in the sky and I turn my radio on, and it's Ruby and The Romantics from 1963, and the song is "Our day will come," and I said, this is going to be a special day. So that's how it started out, ladies and gentlemen. And I just want to thank the president of the BIG EAST, the athletic directors, particularly Commissioner John Marinatto. John, for your patience, your poise, your professionalism through all the ups and downs of conference affiliation and the changes. Ladies and gentlemen, don't let your sons or daughters grow up to be commissioners or athletic directors. It's pretty unhealthy.
The leadership at Temple University I want to thank, particularly the board of trustees, Chairman Patrick O'Connor, Lewis Katz, chairman of the athletic committee of the board who you just heard from, and everyone else associated with the senior administration. So on behalf of our coaches, staff, our student athletes, I thank everyone who made this very special day possible.
At the same time, I want to acknowledge the successful relationship Temple has enjoyed with the Atlantic 10 Conference for three decades and our recent meaningful football membership with the Mid American Conference.
Some of you here today might see this announcement as a solution to the BIG EAST football scheduling dilemma. Many of you here today who are more familiar with Temple University and Temple athletics firsthand realize about the significant changes at Temple University since March of 2001. Those people know about our 39,000 students, they know about the 13,000 students who live on or near campus, the 300,000 alumni that we have in the United States, 160,000 of them that live in the Philadelphia area, 18,000 of them that live in the New York City area. They know about our home for football, Lincoln Financial Field, one of the nicest football arenas on the planet. They know about the Liacouras Center where we play our home basketball games, one of the nicest home basketball arenas anywhere.
Those people who get to see us up close will appreciate the overall value Temple brings to the BIG EAST Conference, and I trust all of you know about the value that the BIG EAST Conference brings to Temple University, and we're very, very grateful and appreciative. We're appreciative of this opportunity. We're excited about the future. And we thank all of you who came here to be with us today on this very special day.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Obviously I want to thank John Marinatto. I want to thank Nick Carparelli in the back. A lot of work has gone into this. I also want to thank you for your vision. It's great vision having Temple come into the BIG EAST Conference. I've been in the BIG EAST Conference before as a football coach in the late '90s, and I'm looking forward to coming into the conference again. There's great rivalries, geographic rivalries, and now with the national scope of the conference, it's really exciting right now what's going on in the BIG EAST.
For us as a football program and as a University, as an all sports athletic program, we know how well respected the BIG EAST is and how powerful the BIG EAST is and what the BIG EAST value and name and brand is throughout the whole country, and now the whole country really gets to experience it. I can't wait to have an opportunity to fly and go play the teams across like Boise and play San Diego and Houston. It's exciting. It's a whole college football is expanding in a whole new way right now, and there's a lot of great times and a lot of great new rivalries to be forged as we move forward here.
We're excited. Bill mentioned, Lewis mentioned, obviously Philadelphia is the greatest sports city in the country, and with Villanova and Temple in the same city, it's just really a tremendous place. What a place to go watch college basketball, college football, and Philadelphia has changed. Like Temple has evolved, Philadelphia has evolved. Our facilities right now at our University, I just want to make this point, where we are right now, we're not trying to fumble around and see if we can find our way into major college football. This is a plan that's been going on for quite some time. With our non conference schedule that we've played, we've played several non BIG EAST opponents with our facilities ongoing and our basketball facility is a brand new multimillion dollar facility, our football facility will be finished on July 1st. I mean, it's unbelievable what's happening. It's a new state of the art dormitory on Broad Street. I could go on and on and on. But I know this: It's an exciting time for Temple. It's an exciting time for the BIG EAST. John, we're so happy to be a part of this BIG EAST family. It's a special, special day. It's a landmark day. And we'll make you proud, I promise you that. And we're going to run a classy, first class program, everything done the right way, and exciting times ahead. So thank you so much for coming, and we really appreciate it, and looking forward to the future.
Q. This question is a joint question for the Commissioner and President Donahue regarding going and exploring FBS. The process of exploring FBS started last September and there was a long discussion, there was some action in April, so I guess my question is how much more exploring does Villanova actually need to do? What's the extent of that exploring, and what does the BIG EAST need to see from Villanova to make that happen?
FATHER PETER DONOHUE: I don't think it's necessarily a position of exploring it more. It's how will this fit into the strategic plan of the University. But also how the BIG EAST will continue to expand and what it needs to expand. So it's a joint project in terms of looking at how it is.
But we've looked at all the issues. We've examined all the issues. It's not a matter of kind of keeping going back and examining it. We know the answers. This will change in a little bit. At the time we were looking at it, Temple was not a part of it, but now there could be, in the future, two schools sharing a BIG EAST football conference within the same city, so we have to look at that, what implications that has for both of us. And also, the invitation has to come from the BIG EAST in terms of they wish to expand even further than they are now in the football arena.
So we are poised to move forward, and if it fits into our strategic plan and the strategic plan of the BIG EAST, we can move forward with the idea. So there's no time frame on it right now. But we've answered the situation for ourselves. I mean, we've looked at it. So it's not a matter of exploring it more.
JOHN MARINATTO: The Conference's position is it wants to support all of its membership institutions, and especially in this case, Villanova. And toward that end in our discussions over the course of the past several weeks, we actually made that commitment in a tangible way so we're going to support Villanova on a number of fronts moving forward to further explore how this fits into the strategic plan over the next several years.
Q. Is there a definite invitation in the future? It sounds like there isn't, and if there isn't, and Villanova decided, for example, if they wanted to go and there was no invitation, would you help move them into another conference?
JOHN MARINATTO: Well, as Father said, we don't know what's going to unfold over the next several years. Who would have predicted everything that's happened over the last five months would have happened. So in terms of future conference expansion and where we are, as I said earlier, we're taking a pause right now. We're going to continue to explore with Villanova regarding their FBS potential moving forward and we'll see where we ultimately end up. But for the meantime, as I said earlier, we've made a financial commitment, we've also devoted a lot of resources, and we're here to support all our member schools in terms of everything they want to do, and in this case the FBS possibility of Villanova moving forward.
Q. John, did Villanova receive any concessions?
JOHN MARINATTO: What we're working on is a way, moving forward, to explore how two schools that are, as father mentioned, 12 miles apart, coexisting in the same marketplace, maintaining their separate identities there, and continuing moving forward to share the BIG EAST Conference brand. So it's a conference initiative, something that we've taken on as a conference perspective, and we're going to hire someone moving forward to help us, because we can't think of all of the things that might or might not today become problematic.
Q. Did you give any money to Villanova?
JOHN MARINATTO: No. We made a financial commitment to explore FBS and a system in that regard. We've also put aside dollars within the conference to hire a consultant to help us work with the two institutions to identify and to try and exploit what we can in order to ensure that they both maintain their identity and share the conference brand in the most productive and optimum way moving forward.
And before we ask another question, Lewis, I wanted to follow up on your shout out to George Moore, and also, at the same time, George, thank you for all your patience over the last several weeks. And at the same time I want to publicly, like you did, thank Peter Zern from Covington & Burling who's been with us the last five months literally every day.
LEWIS KATZ: But he gets paid a lot. George doesn't.
JOHN MARINATTO: We're going to take care of that. Peter, thank you for everything you've been doing with us over the past five months and over the past two years, because equally, as George has been on the side of Temple, Peter has been at our side for the last two years.
Q. Bill, you mentioned the football scheduling issue. Now, when you spoke a year ago, laid the groundwork, what was that conversation like, and was the scheduling problem the tipping point that got it done?
BILL BRADSHAW: The scheduling issue, the eighth member, when John and I first got together, we talked about a lot of things at a little diner in New Jersey.
JOHN MARINATTO: Bill and I met for the first time 16 months ago at a place between New Jersey and New York. I think it was called the State Line Diner. It was literally on the line, and we had breakfast there. You had a football game, I had a football game at Rutgers, so we decided to meet in a very clandestine way at this little diner.
BILL BRADSHAW: Yeah, at the crack of dawn, and we were really talking about sort of the mutual interest, and John was catching up on a lot of the changes that were going on at Temple University in athletics and academics, the mission, some of the construction. He was asking me questions about Temple, he was asking him questions about the conference, particulars, we shared a lot of information. It was a terrific meeting, but it was very preliminary because a lot of the things John was faced with and things that were happening were fluid, and so I would just call it sort of an introductory meeting, a meeting to share some ideas, some thoughts about the future, and really we left it at that.
So scheduling wasn't part of that particular meeting that we had 16 months ago.
Q. John, there's been reports that the BIG EAST is either paying Temple's exit fees to the MAC and the A10, or is doing so in lieu of future revenues. Is there any truth to that and what can you comment on that?
JOHN MARINATTO: I don't know what purpose it serves to actually get into specifics, but I will tell you that the conference is assisting through future revenue distributions Temple with its payout, but I don't see any point in getting into specifics.
Q. Bill or Lewis, was it ever awkward, these conversations, because of the way things ended several years ago?
LEWIS KATZ: He wasn't here.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Neither was I.
LEWIS KATZ: I'm the only one that was here. It was dreadful several years ago. I mean, I guess it was 2002 when they actually voted we went out in 2004 it was 2001 when they actually and I was in charge of athletics then, and I remember I had friends at these other colleges. You know, we didn't deserve, truthfully, to be in the football competition in those years. But it's hard to get kicked out.
Everything you've heard about Villanova and Temple is accurate. When we started to negotiate to come back in, I thought it was just a wonderful, wonderful way to remove a blemish on our football program. And now, people don't realize it, for the last two years, Penn State won in the last 30 seconds, minute. We're going to kick Notre Dame's butt next year. We have a football program. We have a real football program.
So we think we're going to give the BIG EAST exactly what they deserve, and really they've given us financially the opportunity to run a stable program. I mean, without the specifics, you guys have changed our athletic budget by 800 percent next year. That's extraordinary. So we're so grateful, and we're going to pay you back by bringing in the fans, by promoting the BIG EAST, and I have a feeling that this Villanova Temple talk is only going to get good for the city, good for competition. He has an incredibly wonderful athletic program, a beautiful school, and I'm really looking forward to someday seeing a real football rivalry, as we've had, between Temple and Villanova so that the entire city of Philadelphia can turn out and really support the BIG EAST program.
So I hope that that happens in the future, and trust me, Temple will be very supportive, very supportive if Villanova ever seeks to come into the BIG EAST, you can be sure our vote will be let them in because it's good for our community, and we deserve to play each other.
Q. Coach Addazio, starting BIG EAST competition this fall that means you'll be competing against your son at Syracuse. Talk about that.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, yeah, that's exciting. We already started that teasing back and forth. He said, Dad, I can't talk to you that week. His uncle is here right now. Maybe you can talk to his uncle. His mother might not talk to me. But we're excited about it. He's excited about it. When you talked earlier about geographic tie ins, this is all the cool stuff. Obviously it's a father son, but there's families, there's husbands and wives, who goes to one school, who goes to another. It's what makes college football great. It's going to be exciting times ahead on a lot of fronts for a lot of people, so I can't wait to see it all unfold.
Q. I don't know if this is a better question for John or Bill, but why bring in basketball in 2013 and not 2012?
JOHN MARINATTO: As I mentioned, when hoops asked a question relative to the market, we're using the current year as a transition year in order to analyze what we can by hiring a consultant to explore how we can best exploit the marketplace moving forward, and as I said earlier, to retain each school's individual identity, a brand that Villanova has worked on for over three decades with the BIG EAST and how to incorporate and associate that with Temple.
So for the next 12 months, what we're going to do is with the two institutions, the Conference's initiative, explore how we best move forward in order to ensure that we accomplish that because it's in the best interest of the conference obviously for the two schools to coexist in a very, very positive way, and one of the things we want to do is ensure that's the case by doing this.
Q. John, in the 2013 '14 basketball season, will there be 18 teams or 20, and what's going to happen at Pitt and Syracuse that year?
JOHN MARINATTO: You know, our membership, given the speed and success of our expansion initiatives, I think it's open to having the discussions with both Pittsburgh and Syracuse about them having an early departure. So we haven't actually had those conversations yet, but our membership is certainly willing to do that at this point given where we've landed.
Q. My other question is about basketball specifically. Villanova has made use of the Wells Fargo Center for big games in basketball. Obviously Temple has a bigger on campus arena but the Wells Fargo Center is bigger. Are there any plans for Temple also to use the Wells Fargo Center for big games?
LEWIS KATZ: Well, you might not know this, but this year we played a team called Duke in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. I guess they were in the top three or four that game. We like the Wells Fargo Center. Certainly the results of that game would show that. So we will play, where appropriate, in the Wells Fargo Center, and I think part of the discussion in the next year is
FATHER PETER DONOHUE: Is just that kind of thing.
LEWIS KATZ: Figuring out how to do that.
JOHN MARINATTO: We've talked about that, and as I mentioned earlier, we're hiring a consultant to help us with all these things. Temple has actually played, as Lewis said, games at the Wells Fargo Center, but it's also their intention, moving forward, to play their games on their on campus facilities because they've got a phenomenal, relatively new, campus facility. So based on past practices and the Conference obviously also has a say as to which games are play in a large arena. In fact, our conference policy allows us to move games or not move games as we see fit. So the Conference will play a large role in that. Moving forward, I will say it's our intention to continue to use the past practices as a guideline.
Q. Commissioner, about the BIG EAST brand, how much in the next couple years, five years, how much of the BIG EAST brand will be affected by all of the things that you've brought in?
JOHN MARINATTO: That's a good question because we had obviously a presidential meeting this morning in order to take the vote. We were here talking about it today, but at the same time, we've gone through a lot over the past five months, and we ended up in a very positive place. We feel very comfortable with where we are both in football and basketball, and the most important thing moving forward is obviously our upcoming television negotiations, which are due to open up on September 1 of 2012.
Overall, the conference right now, as I mentioned earlier, is in 31, almost 32 million television households, which is twice as much as any of the other conferences in the country, twice as much as any of the other five major conferences in the country. We've got 14 schools in the top 50 medium 18 in the top 50 media markets in the country. So we've got a lot of assets moving forward.
As I mentioned earlier, too, we also opened up two new recruiting areas that are in the top 10 in terms of football fertile states, Texas and Southern California. So rebranding the conference and taking a stand in regard to a little bit of pounding our chest as to where it is we've landed is going to take place, and we're going to get professional assistance with that, too, by hiring a firm that will assist us in doing all that in the months coming ahead in the upcoming months.
Q. You're about to open TV negotiations in September. Down the line, having secured this Philadelphia market the way you have, how important is it that the huge market for Comcast, and what does that mean to the future of the league?
JOHN MARINATTO: We've always claimed that market because of Villanova's presence in the conference over the last 30 years, but you're right, we added football and we solidify a presence in that area, and that's obviously a very important thing. The geography, the rivalries. One of the things that Paul Tagliabue told us who worked with us as a consultant for a year and a half told us is you drive value through rivalries, that's really what people want to say. Father mentioned Duke Carolina, which is obviously a major rivalry. Lewis talked about the fact that obviously Villanova and Temple have a long standing rivalry. We expect that to continue to grow. So we've got, as I mentioned earlier, the assets all there. We've just now got to figure out a way to properly position ourselves moving forward to exploit them to our advantage.
Q. Navy doesn't come on board until 2015, so does that kind of is there a window then to add another football school to balance the division?
JOHN MARINATTO: Yeah, it's our intention to obviously have equal divisions of seven moving forward, and over the course of the time between now and our television negotiations, as we better position ourselves to attract a quality 14th partner in football, we'll be looking to move forward in that direction. We want to get to even divisions, and I think we're looking specifically for a western partner to help us with that.
JOHN PAQUETTE: Thank you, everyone, for your interest and your attendance.