According to VUSports.com's Erik Watkins, the eight current football members of the Big East will participate in a conference call today to talk about Villanova's plan for moving up from FCS to FBS football. The eight schools will either accept the financial and facilities plan that Villanova presents, outright say no, or will ask for more information on their plan.
The only snag that I could see is that Pitt is still not happy about Villanova's desire to play at the Philadelphia Union's PPL Park. The stadium right now only seats 18,000, but can be expanded to seat 30,000 people if necessary. Other options like Franklin Field (on the Penn campus) and Citizens Bank Park (home of the Phillies) may be considered. The best option would be Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Eagles, but it's currently leased to Temple and won't be available for bids until 2017. Villanova's on-campus stadium only seats 10,000, well below the 15,000 minimum attendance threshold required for FBS teams, and there is no room for a significant upgrade in seats.
The good news from the article is that Villanova President Fr. Peter Donohue looks like he will give his blessing for the move up if the other Big East schools give the ok for expansion today.
I'm really surprised that only the eight football members have a vote in this, and not the other seven basketball schools. I understand not including TCU due to the Horned Frogs not joining the conference until 2012, but normally all 16 teams have a say when it comes to adding members. However, this might be a one-time case because Villanova is already a member of the conference.
We will have more for you as the situation progresses throughout the day.