According to Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Big East is moving towards a model that includes Temple as a football-only member, and no FBS football for Villanova.
According to a Big East source, Villanova hasn't tried to put up an "over our dead body" block on Temple for joining the league for all sports but made it known they'd prefer that Big East basketball not include two schools sharing the same market.
Villanova appears vehemently opposed (and rightly so) to adding Temple for basketball too. Why should they? They were jerked around by the Big East for football - and now their conference partners want to add another team in the same market. No go, according to 'Nova.
"It's about the strategy of expansion and how markets fit in," said a Villanova source.
(You have no idea how comforting it is to know that somebody gets this at Villanova)
Temple fans will cry foul about an uneven playing field - but if you want the basketball playing field to be even, football needs to be too. And if the Big East isn't willing to extend that olive branch, Villanova should be opposed to sharing their dominance in the Philadelphia market, a known hoops haven. So no, Villanova isn't scared of Temple. They're just being savvy and not giving up a territory that they dominate with nothing in return.
As Jensen points out in the article, Villanova has support in their stance. The basketball schools aren't going to piss all over a program that has made them a lot of money in recent years. Plus, other Big East programs recruit Philadelphia. Adding another program in that market just makes life harder for them as well.
It remains to be seen where this goes, but you would think Temple isn't happy about the prospect of being a football-only member. They want to be fully invited to a better conference. You can't blame them.
But I also know this. If Temple football joins - that's it for Villanova's FBS football dreams. They'll never get another invite from the conference, because they'll already have the Philadelphia market covered (by a school who's already been kicked out once, mind you). Shame on our administration if they let Temple into the conference in any way without also getting an invite to join for football.
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