Atlantic 10 open to adding Big East schools if split occurs

In the event that the seven non-FBS playing Big East schools split from the rest of the conference, the Atlantic 10 has discussed the possibility of adding the schools and expanding the conference to 21 teams. This according to a report by Andy Katz of ESPN.com.

The A-10 currently is a 16-team conference, but Temple and Charlotte are set to leave for the Big East and Conference USA, respectively.

The seven Big East Catholic schools (DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova) met Sunday in New York with league commissioner Mike Aresco to express concern over the direction of the conference. The worries of the seven schools are centered around the programs which have recently left the Big East and the programs the conference has elected to replace them with.

The league lost West Virginia to the Big 12 this season, and will soon lose Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville to the ACC. Rutgers will be leaving for the Big Ten in 2014. The Big East is filling the void left by those programs with new full-time members Memphis, Temple, Tulane, Central Florida, SMU and Houston.

"The basketball schools are not thrilled with Tulane and what they will do to the league's RPI," a league source told ESPN.com. "They were not all that excited with that addition."

The allure of moving to the A-10 for the seven Catholic schools would be the chance to join up with likeminded athletic programs, as well as to join a league with a solid television deal already in place. The A-10 recently signed a new rights deal with NBC, CBS and ESPN.

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