Make no mistake: Temple remains a looming presence on the Big East membership horizon, but they won't be stepping into the foreground today. The scheduled 3:00pm Trustees' teleconference to discuss conference membership was cancelled this morning. Temple officials did not provide a reason for the meeting's cancellation.
A 2:00pm meeting of the Board's Executive Committee will go ahead, to "discuss contracts." Though vaguely-presented, this may be a reference to the schools' contractual relationships with the MAC and Atlantic-10 conferences, which would need to be wound up before the Owls would be able to join any new conference. It might be that the Big East has asked Temple to assure them that they could get out of their MAC arrangements for the Fall football season at a reasonable price before deciding whether to issue an invitation to the Philadelphia school.
It would cost Temple a minimum payment of $2.5 million to exit the MAC conference, but that does not take into account the 2-year notice requirement. The cost of WVU's early exit from the Big East was $20 million under a similar notice provision. For Boise State to exit the MWC on short-notice it would have cost around $10million — a number that the Big East was unwilling to contribute to.
The MAC, meanwhile, has no reason to accept a low-ball number to let Temple leave — and has indicated that they expect Temple to honor the waiting period, signaling a hardline stance on the issue. While the conference can't likely enforce the 2 year notice requirement against Temple, they certainly could get a sizable monetary award for the breach of that provision in a court.
Temple's assistant Vice President of University Communications, Ray Betzner, told The Temple News that "the university does not expect an announcement or movement of any kind today."
Updated 3/1: Temple has reached "no resolution" and is "still in negotiations," regarding conference affiliation, according to the chairman of their board of trustees. The MAC Isn't happy with the timing of this move or the fact that Temple wants to leave without notice, Temple is probably still working on the terms of their exit from that conference.