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Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Schools pledge to stay in Big East

By Andrea Adelson

The remaining Big East schools have vowed to stay together to help rebuild the conference following the stunning defections of Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC. At least that is what commissioner John Marinatto says.

Marinatto told ESPN's Joe Schad that he plans to be aggressive in rebuilding the conference, though where that takes the league remains unclear. Representatives from all seven remaining football-playing schools met in New York on Tuesday night to discuss the future, and Marinatto said everybody pledged a commitment to stay despite speculation that a few have their eye on the door.

A merger with the Big 12 now seems unlikely with the news that the Pac-12 will not expand. That means Oklahoma and Texas have no choice but to remain in the Big 12 and hold it together, with at least one new school to replace outgoing Texas A&M.

That leaves the Big East potentially looking at Navy, Army, Air Force, Central Florida and East Carolina as options for expansion. But there are major questions that remain: