According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Villanova has delayed their vote on whether to move up to the Big East in football. A source within the Big East conference told Mike Jensen that the vote has been pushed back because certain members of the conference (we're looking at you Rutgers and Pitt) are not ready to sign off on Villanova joining, despite the Wildcats being informally invited late in 2010.
The main problem, according to the source, is Villanova's plan to use PPL Park, home to the Philadelphia Union of the MLS, as their main home site. Currently, the stadium houses 18,500, but can be expanded to hold close to 30,000. By comparison, the next smallest stadium is Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium, which holds 35,000.
The source also reported that there are several Big East schools that ARE in favor of the move, however, and that Villanova's membership could still be approved. Apparently, the conference members had a call on Sunday to discuss the move and there was some hesitation from certain parties.
Meanwhile, Terry Toohey of the Delco Times is reporting that Villanova is "all in" in terms of the move up to the Big East.
...Don't get this at all...it's been out there for months that we are planning to use PPL Park...why now?...honestly, the conference should be totally embarrassed...they are coming off like idiots here...
...Stay tuned for more, this certainly is far from over...
Email from Father Peter Donohue after The Jump.
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
It is important to me that you are the first to know the status of our potential transition to the Big East Conference as a football member. At this point in time, no formal action will be taken on this matter at the April 12, 2011, meeting of the Villanova Board of Trustees as we had planned and previously communicated.
We very recently learned that the Big East Conference needs more time to complete its due diligence regarding Villanova’s potential football membership. Without a clear and formal invitation from the Big East, we cannot proceed. We are now working with the Big East to provide whatever additional information and details we can. It is our hope that in the near future we will proceed with the Board of Trustees vote as planned.
I am sure that some of you may be disappointed by this delay. But please know that whatever the outcome of this situation, we greatly value the positive relationship we have enjoyed with the Big East for over 30 years and look forward to the continuation of this partnership.
I certainly will share new information with you as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, I ask for your patience and your continued support.