During the press conference to introduce the Temple Owls as the newest member of the Big East, John Marinatto officially reversed his long-standing "by-laws are the by-laws are the by-laws" stance and admitted the conference is open to discussing an early departure for the Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers.
"I'm open to having discussions with Pitt and Syracuse about having an earlier departure than 2014."
According to CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, a well-placed source says "there is no doubt" Pittsburgh and Syracuse will be in the ACC in 2013. So that's good.
"Our membership, given the speed and success of our expansion initiatives, I think it’s open to having the discussions with both Pittsburgh and Syracuse about them having an early departure," Marinatto said. "So we haven't actually had those conversations yet, but our membership is certainly willing to do that at this point given where we've landed."
This was pretty much expected. The Big East was going to talk tough until it was sure it had enough teams to cover itself and then it would consider letting the Orange and Panthers lose lame-duck status before 2014. Even if both schools leave in 2013, the league will still have 12 football and 18 basketball members.
Get ready for the farewell tour next year and get ready to get absolutely screwed on the basketball scheduling. If that's the price to leave a year early (along with more money), so be it.