Big East Conference: Syracuse Leaving Conference Next July

-- For more on the Big East Conference visit SB Nation's blog Big East Coast Bias.

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Conference Realignment: Syracuse Reaches Agreement To Leave Big East

It's indeed a sad day for the Big East Conference and assuredly many Syracuse Orange fans.

On Monday morning, the parties announced that an agreement has been reached for Syracuse University to leave the Big East. The termination of Syracuse's Big East membership will go into effect July 1, 2013, according to BigEast.org.

"This closes a chapter and opens a new one filled with exciting possibilities for the Big East’s future. With the recent addition of eight schools to the Big East, the future for the Conference has never been brighter," said Joe Bailey, the Interim Commissioner of the Big East.

The university will have to pay the Big East a total of $7.5 million to leave, so it can take it's sports to the ACC.

Dr. Daryl Gross, the Director of Athletics at Syracuse, released the following statement:

"We look forward to the new academic and athletic partnerships and the extraordinary competitive opportunities that membership in the ACC offers. We are excited about both our final season in the Big East and our long-term future with the ACC."

For more on Syracuse, please be sure to check out our blog Dunes Magician and SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.

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Big East Expansion: Boise State Still Plans To Join Big East, Leave Mountain West

After flirting with the potential of remaining a member of the Mountain West, the Boise State Broncos will reportedly make good on their intentions of moving to the Big East.

According to Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports, Boise State had several conversations with Mountain West representatives in recent weeks about potentially staying in the conference.

Sources told CBSSports.com the Broncos were considering remaining in the Mountain West for several reasons: the uncertainty about the Big East's future membership, the difficulty of securing a home for the Broncos' Olympic sports, the elimination of the BCS AQ conferences in 2014 and also a very real concern that their revenue as a Big East member would be substantially lower than initially projected.

But the lure of the Big East -- and the threat of a $5 million penalty if the school decided not to join the conference -- ultimately convinced Boise State to follow through with the move.

For more on the Big East, visit SB Nation's Big East Coast Bias.

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Conference Realignment: Syracuse, Pittsburgh Staying For 2012; West Virginia Leaving

The Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers will stay in the Big East Conference for the 2012-13 football and basketball season, while the West Virgina Mountaineers are headed to the Big 12 next year, CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy is reporting.

Sources told CBSSports.com that Pittsburgh and Syracuse won’t try to leave this summer, but will attempt to negotiate deals to allow them to join the ACC a year early in 2013.

According to McMurphy, Syracuse and Pittsburgh are not wishing to leave the league any earlier because, "both schools don’t want to be 'any more disruptive to the Big East' for the coming season."

Another reason for the delay in departure, says McMurphy, is because Syracuse and Pittsburgh could trim down the settlement fee needed to leave early from $20 million, which was payed by WVU, to just the new-exit fee of $10 million.

West Virginia's membership in the Big East will be terminated effective June 30, 2012.

In 2013, the Big East is adding six more football programs, as Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF will all be annexed .

For a complete recap of the Big East's expansion plans, check out the SB Nation New York StoryStream. For more on Syracuse University spots check out the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while the Big East Coast Bias has everything on the Big East.

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Big East Expansion: Navy Football To Be Added In 2015

The Big East Conference is expected to announce Tuesday that Navy football will join the league in the 2015 season. The move would help the conference replace departing schools Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia and move the league closer to its goal of creating a 12-team league in football. The conference would then be divided into East and West divisions.

"The Big East has been courting Navy, a football independent, for months and service academy officials had made it known they liked the idea of joining."

Navy, which currently plays as an Independent in the Football Bowl Subdivision, will join Boise State, San Diego State, Central Florida and SMU as the league's new members. Those schools are set to join as soon as 2013.

For a complete recap of the Big East's expansion plans, check out the SB Nation New York StoryStream. For more on the Big East Conference, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias.

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Conference Realignment: Big East Expansion Plans Will Not Save Its Future

The Big East Conference announced plans today to invite six more programs: Boise State, Navy, Air Force for football, and SMU, Houston and UCF in all sports. SB Nation New York's Jared Smith thinks the expansion plans will not save the league's future.

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Conference Realignment: West Virginia Wants To Join Big 12 Now, Files Suit Against Big East

By now, most college football fans know that West Virginia University is leaving the Big East Conference to be a part of the of the Big 12 Conference expansion plans to replace the University of Missouri, which is planning to join the Southeastern Conference. By now, most fans also know the Big East has made it clear that the three programs that are leaving the conference -- Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh are also exiting and headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference -- are going to be held to a 27-month waiting period. By now, you've probably heard all the back-and-forth banter from the Big East Commissioner, John Marinatto, and those exiting and remaining programs. However, this  conference realignment story just got even more interesting Monday.

According to CBSSports.com, West Virginia is filing suit against the Big East so it can bypass the 27-month mandatory waiting period and join the Big 12 next season.

"We are disappointed that West Virginia has adopted this strategy," said Marinatto in a statement reacting to the lawsuit," and cannot imagine why it believes it does not have to respect and honor the bylaws it agreed to as a member of the Big East. Based on an initial review of the lawsuit, it is clear that the allegations and claims in it are false and inaccurate. Certainly there is nothing in it that would justify WVU’s not fulfilling its obligations. To put it simply, a contract is a contract."

On Friday, when the Big 12 announced the addition of West Virginia, it also said that the Mountaineers would join the league next season, not on June 1, 2014 when the Big East bylaws say the 27-month waiting period is up. WVU is claiming that a "lack of leadership, lack of fudiciary duties by the Big East and its commissioner, and voting disparity between the football and non-football schools resulted in the Big East football conference no longer being a viable and competitive football conference," is why its filing suit.

"Nothing will stop the Mountaineers from leaving the Big East for the 2012-13 season," wrote Brian Ewart of VUHoops.com, who breaks down the suit brilliantly. "Even if the Big East were to sue them for breaching the contract, they would likely get a court to order them to play two more seasons of Big East sports. Instead, this is about how much they will have to pay. If West Virginia wins the suit, they wouldn’t pay anything, but there is more to it than that."

Ewart makes it clear, that this could get ugly and very expensive for WVU, the Big East, and possibly the Big 12 and its members -- which wouldn't be good for the Mountaineers.

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Conference Realignment: Louisville Still In The Big 12 Expansion Mix

The Big 12 Conference says its expansion plans are finished, but a league source says that the University of Louisville could be added, soon, as the league's 11th member.

"...Don't count out Louisville coming on board, too. And maybe sooner rather than later," wrote Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman Sunday. "A Big 12 source told me that despite what Neinas said Friday, the conference has not settled on 10 as an ideal number. In fact, there could be a push to also invite Louisville soon and bring the membership to 11."

On Friday, the Cardinals (4-4, 2-1 Big East) were left out of the Big 12 expansion plans as the conference decided to add West Virginia University (6-2, 2-1) and not Louisville. Last week, the Big 12 had a verbal agreement with WVU, but then retracted it when some of its schools wanted to add Louisville instead. However, after a few days of debating, the Big 12 decided make WVU its 10th member when the University of Missouri leaves for the Southeastern Conference.

Now, it seems that Louisville, though it lost out last week, is still very much an option for the Big 12.

"At 11, the Big 12 could stand pat and try to work a deal for Notre Dame as an associate member, in all sports but football," wrote Tramel. "At 11, the Big 12 could stand ready to easily get back to a full 12-team league with divisions and a championship game, no matter whether the 12th team is manna from Heaven (Notre Dame) or another Big East refugee (Cincinnati)."

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Big East Expansion: Commissioner John Marinatto Not Surprised About West Virginia Departure

After telling the Big East Conference that it plans to accept the Big 12 Conference's invitation to become its 10th and final member, West Virginia University received a response from the league and its commissioner John Marinatto Friday morning via Twitter.

"This move by West Virginia does not come as a surprise. League officials, members of our conference and the candidate schools to whom we have been talking were aware of this possibility. We have taken West Virginia’s possible departure into account as we have moved forward with our own realignment plans. West Virginia is fully aware that the Big East Conference is committed to enforcing the 27-month notification period for members who choose to leave the conference. We are confident that in the coming weeks we will complete our own realignment program, adding a number of high-quality members to remain among the top conferences in both football and basketball."

On Friday morning, CBSSports.com Brett McMurphy reported that the Mountaineers, who are currently ranked No. 24 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the AP Poll and Bow Championship Series standings, were going to receive and accept an invitation from the Big 12.

The loss of WVU is a huge one for the league that already has seen Syracuse University, the University of Pittsburgh and Texas Christian University move onto other conferences. However, if the Big East can get Boise State University to commit to the league, and add a few more quality programs like Central Florida University then it maybe able to keep its BCS automatic qualify spot.

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Conference Realignment: West Virginia, Not Louisville, Part Of Big 12 Expansion Plans

The Big East Conference has lost another big-time football and men's basketball program Friday as multiple reports say West Virginia University, not the University of Louisville, will be invited to join the Big 12 Conference after vote by the league's board of directors. The Mountaineers, who are currently ranked No. 24 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the AP Poll and Bowl Championship Series standings, will accept the invitation to become the 10th and final member of the Big 12 expansion plans.

Over the past few days, WVU has been waiting to hear about its Big 12 status after receiving a verbal offer to join the league Tuesday. That offer was then put on hold after the Big 12 debated about adding WVU, Louisville or both. In the end, the Mountaineers were chosen to replace the University of Missouri, which is expected to leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference.

What is good news for WVU, but bad news for Louisville, is possibly the best thing to happen to the Big East in the last few months.

"This is the best news for the Big East since UConn cut down the nets," tweeted New York Times' reporter Pete Thamel, who confirmed the CBSSports.com report about the addition of WVU. "League still has a heartbeat. Losing both could have been fatal."

CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, who broke this story Friday morning, said the Big East chances of keeping its BCS automatic qualifying status is now really good.

"The Big East wants to get to a 12-team football league and is expected to issue invitations to Boise State, Air Force, Navy, Houston, SMU and Central Florida. That would increase the membership to 11 teams."

However, there still is a very good chance that WVU will not be the last Big East program to leave the league, especially if Boise State University decides to not join. It does sound like the Big 12 will no longer add anymore schools -- rumors are saying that the University of Texas, which owns its own television network with ESPN, doesn't want to split anymore of its TV money. It also seems as if the Big Ten Conference is set on its number of schools. But, rumors are still flying around that the Atlantic Coast Conference may not be done adding programs -- University of Notre Dame? the University of Connecticut? Rutgers University?

For now, this is good news for the Big East. But, this conference realignment stuff is not done yet.

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Conference Realignment: Rutgers University Responds To West Virginia University Departure

As the Big East Conference slowly begins to morph into a league that no one will soon recognize, Rutgers University is looking to making plans to survive the latest conference realignment news, which has West Virginia University accepting an invitation to the Big 12 Conference.

"The landscape in collegiate athletics continues to be a very fluid situation and we continue to be involved in discussions," Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti said Tuesday. "We remain extremely confident that the result once the movement concludes will be very positive for Rutgers University.

"While there is going to be a period of time between now and then that will cause our constituents and fans a certain level of anxiety, given the unique assets we possess, including our strong and growing academic profile, our AAU (Association of American Universities) status and the location and high level of interest surrounding Rutgers in the nation’s largest television market, we feel confident in the end result for Rutgers."

It is pretty clear that Rutgers, along with the rest of the Big East's football-playing members -- the University of Connecticut, the University of Louisville, the University of South Florida and the University of Cincinnati -- are a bit uneasy about the current situation.

"It's hard to feel any anger towards West Virginia over the move, just envy," wrote SB Nation's Rutgers blog On The Banks Tuesday. "Rutgers, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh led the fight over the summer to drag the Big East kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. John Marinatto and co. responded by saying, "no thanks, we're good. By the way, you have to add Villanova or else."

Currently, there are no official options for the Scarlet Knights except to stay in the Big East and hope things work out. Of course, the best theoretical option for Rutgers is the Big 10 Conference or Big 12 would like to expand to 14 or 16 programs and its on the list of candidates to aide that expansion.

Rutgers is a solid university, however, besides its football program, which failed to qualify for a bowl game last season, it really doesn't have another big-time sport that may attract other conferences. If a league was going to add a current Big East program, it would probably take Louisville first then UConn. Both of those universities not only have decent football programs, but each has a men's basketball program that is one of the best in the country.

The Scarlet Knights do have the best television market, New York City, to use to their advantage and an up-to-date athletics facilities -- but, which programs doesn't have that nowadays?

As the Big East slowly collapses, it will be interesting to see where Rutgers ends up. Will it be one of the universities that stays and helps the league survive? Or, will it join the ranks and try to find a safe haven someplace else?

-- For more on this, check out SB Nation's On The Banks and its college football hubpage.

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Conference Realignment: Big 12 Looking At West Virginia University For Expansion Plans

If Rome wasn't built in a day, the Big East Conference sure wasn't dismantled any faster. However, it is happening again, as a report from New York Post writer Lenn Robbins has more conference realignment news. This time, it's West Virginia University leaving the Big East for the Big 12.

"The Big 12 held a board of directors meeting yesterday, and a source said the league's plan is to hold on to Missouri, which wants to leave for the SEC, for one more year and then replace it with West Virginia."

Before Tuesday, there were many rumors about the Mountaineers, who currently has the only Big East football program ranking in the top 25 in the Bowl Championship Series standings (No. 25), bolting for the Big 12, which may plan to continue its expansion.

If (when) WVU (5-2, 1-1 Big East) leaves, then the Big East will be forced to replace four football-playing schools -- Syracuse University, the University of Pittsburgh, Texas Christian University and WVU, which have all announced they're leaving the Big East for other conferences.

Rumors have the Big East inviting Boise State University, Air Force, Navy, the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston, Southern Methodist University and, now, possibly Temple University to help the Big East reach its 12-team goal. However, if the league does invite all of these schools one would think that there is going to be a big divide between the football-playing schools and the non-football schools.

-- More on Big 12 expansion and conference realignment can be found at SB Nation's college football hubpage.

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Big East Expansion: League Looking At Championship Game At Yankee Stadium

If the Big East Conference survives the college football conference-realignment apocalypse and is successful in expanding to 12 football-playing members it will be interested in holding a championship game, possibly at Yankee Stadium, says a report.

"Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said on a media conference call today that the league would like to hold a championship game in New York after it adds six football members," wrote Curtis Eichelberger of Bloomberg.com Monday. "Yankees President Randy Levine said in an e-mail that the team would be "very" interested in hosting it at the three-year-old stadium in the Bronx."

Currently, the Big East does not have a conference championship game in football -- the league champion is decided on regular season play and head-to-head match ups. However, for men's basketball the conference holds a 16-team tournament in March at Madison Square Garden

As a media member who attended last year's Pinstripe Bowl I really like this idea -- if the Big East exists in the next few years. Last year's experiment to hold a "big time" college football game at Yankee Stadium was a success: The game was thrilling, the facility was a great place to watch a football event and the Yankee organization knows how to put together a quality experience.

I may not favor the Big East's plans to save its league, but if it can survive these conference alignment talks and somehow create a championship game, holding it at Yankee Stadium would be a very good idea.

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Conference Realignment: Exit Fee Increased, But Missouri Headed To SEC

Two big updates on Big East Conference expansion and conference realignment broke Monday night.  In an effort to save its conference, the Big East announced late Monday night that its presidents and chancellors unanimously agreed to doubled the league's exit fee from $5 to $10 million, however, the increase is dependent on Air Force or Navy accepting its invitations to join the league. While, that was happening New York Times writer Pete Thamel reported that the University of Missouri is on a clear cut path to join the Southeastern Conference.

Both news stories directly relate to each other because if Missouri leaves the Big 12 Conference, it is rumored that the University of Louisville and West Virginia University are expected to be two of the three replacements. Currently, all signs point to the Cardinals and Mountaineers accepting the Big 12's invite.

If those two Big East programs bolt then more than likely two things will happen: 1) Navy and Air Force will not accept invitations to the Big East -- because why would you join a league that lost three of its four biggest programs in the past month? -- and 2) If Navy and Air Force STILL decided to join and WVU and Louisville still bolt to the Big 12 then the Big East will still need to find two more schools.

Right now, it seems the only hope for the Big East is if Boise State University decided to join the conference.

"'As of Saturday, the Big East "felt confident about their discussions with Boise State," a college football industry source told CBSSports.com."

"'That’s the most important factor, the stability of the core membership," Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told CBSSports.com Monday night.'"

But, even if the Broncos join will that prevent WVU and Louisville from jumping? Only time will tell, but as it passes it doesn't look good for the Big East.

SB Nation New York will have more updates on this story as the day progresses. Be sure to check back for more breaking news on Big East expansion and conference realignment.

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Conference Realignment: Big East Could Keep BCS Status Until 2015

Ever since Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh bolted for the Atlantic Coast Conference last month, the Big East Conference has been looking for a break that could possible save the league from extinction. Well, on Thursday, Boston Globe writer Mark Blaudschun reported that the Big East's Bowl Championship Series automatic qualifying status was secure for possibly the next four years.

"'There's been a lot of talk about the Big East losing its bid,'' said one highly placed college official with knowledge of the BCS requirements."But as long as the conference exsists in football l the contract is iron clad for two years and there is also a two-year grace period (an NCAA rule) which extends it through the 2015 season.'"

"The BCS will soon begin discussions of a new contract which would start in the 2014 season."

This news is critical for the league, which wants to attract new members -- possibly Boise State University -- but also keep its current members from bolting to another conference

"The only condition the Big East would have to meet for the grace period would be to have eight football playing members," wrote Mark Ennis of SB Nation's Big East Coast Bias Thursday. "Having BCS cover for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons could possibly give the Big East a chance to get its house in order and bulk up its conference wide rankings for the evaluation that will come in 2014. Right now the Big East's champion has ranked well enough on average for to meet the BCS's standard."

Ennis continues:

"What the Big East needs is to have more than one team pushing for the top ten, and then have some more of the current members or expansion candidates hovering anywhere from 15-25."

Again, this is a big break for the Big East, however, as Ennis points out there's still a lot of work for the league to do. So far, this season the league as gone 26-9 against non-conference opponents with its biggest non-conference win being the University of South Florida over the University of Notre Dame, 23-20. Also, there's no Big East team so elite in the conference -- most would peg the University of West Virginia as the best team --that it could not be beaten by any of the seven remaining schools.

Is there potential in the Big East? Yes, but not a lot and there's very room for error for when it comes to losing non-conference games. With no elite teams in the conference then it will be tough for any Big East school to move up or into the top 25 rankings.

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Conference Realignment: Rutgers Football On The Move?

As the Big East Conference scrambles to save its life by trying to add six new programs, the league may want to focus first on schools already in the league because some of them are possibly making plans to leave.

On Wednesday, Tom Luicci of the Star-Ledger reported that Rutgers University Athletic Director Tim Pernetti sought advisement from the school's board of Governors Tuesday.

"There had been speculation that Pernetti would publicly receive the authority to explore conference options for the school, which would mean the Board was prepared to approve the $5 million Big East exit fee if the decision is made to change leagues."

However, Luicci could not confirm if Pernetti received permission to look at other options. But, that doesn't mean Pernetti hadn't already received permission. Pernetti did not talk about Rutgers status of exploring a new conference, but did comment on the Big East's expansion plans:

"Everybody in the league is very committed to accomplishing and finding those opportunities and executing upon them as quickly as possible," Pernetti said. "At the same time, I think a lot of what is happening out there in expansion is out of a lot of people's control. The reason there's so much anxiety out there is because it's all about control."

SB Nation's Rutgers blog On The Banks said this Wednesday:

"Rutgers cannot give in, and there is no reason to expect that they will. There are two scenarios that make sense on our end: defanging the non-football programs once and for all, or buying enough time until the next round of conference reshuffling."

If the Big East really wants to save itself, it needs to quickly strengthen relationships between its non-football and football playing members. However, it seems the strategy right now is to just plug the remaining six program holes.

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Big East Expansion: Army Reportedly Content To Remain Independent

If the Big East is expecting Army to join its conference, it probably hasn’t heard "Boo" from the Black Knights.

That’s because Army Athletic Director Boo Corrigan is reportedly content to remain independent, according to his comments at The Washington Post:

"Clearly we’re following everything right now, but we are very comfortable where we are as an independent, and we are comfortable with the Patriot League. We have great respect for the Big East and John Marinatto. But as we look at things today, we are comfortable where we are."

Army was lumped in with Navy and Air Force for the Big East trifecta, but with the Black Knights reportedly staying put, the "all in" scenario admittedly loses some of its luster.

That leaves Navy, who continues to question the stability of the conference while Air Force considered it a "viable" option.

Muddy waters, for sure, but expect things to clear up in the coming weeks. Until then, get up to speed with our Big East Coast Bias right here.

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Conference Realignment: UCF Back In The Big East Picture

Amidst all the new Big East Conference expansion talks, there are rumors swirling about which college football program will or will not get asked to join the league. Now, there are many non-Bowl Championship Series conference schools that would love to join a league that has a automatic berth to a BCS game. But, there's one program, the University of Central Florida, that probably wants an invite more than any other school and reports indicate that it finally might get its chance.

"Sources say big east ready to offer central florida spot this week," tweeted New York Daily News college basketball writer, Dick Weiss, on Monday.

Last year, after the Big East announced that Texas Christian University would be joining the league in 2012 -- the Horned Frogs decided Monday that it would be joining the Big 12 instead -- there were many rumors that UCF was going to be the next program added. However, expansion talks stalled and the Knights were left in the waiting room.

But now, with Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East needing a big-market program to try and fill those two voids, UCF is a great option. (Last November, SB Nation New York predicted that UCF was going to be the 10th football-playing member of the Big East.)

"What UCF has right now is a 45,000-plus on-campus football stadium and a 9,400-plus basketball arena both built in 2007," ," wrote Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinal on Saturday." It also has a student-enrollment of 56,187, making it on par with schools like Ohio State and Texas."

The new news is really good for UCF, but here's the issue -- as SB Nation New York examined on Monday -- the Big East maybe saying good bye to its automatic BCS berth come 2014. Now, the move from the Conference USA to the Big East is an upgrade -- unless, West Virginia University and University of Louisville end up leaving -- but will it be worth it if its new league loses its BCS berth?

The only hope for the UCF faithful is that the addition of the Knights can helps its "new" league keep its AQ status. In my opinion, the Big East will need more than just UCF to make that happen.

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