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East Carolina No Longer In Consideration As Big 12 Expansion Target

East Carolina is no longer being considered as a Big 12 expansion candidate.

The East Carolina Pirates will not be moving to the Big 12. Wednesday, the school alerted its followers that Big 12 conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby had informed school officials that the university is no longer being considered as an expansion candidate. East Carolina chancellor Dr. Cecil Staton issued a statement on the matter.

Here's the full text of the statement:

"After formally being notified by Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby that East Carolina University was no longer considered an expansion candidate, ECU Chancellor Dr. Cecil Staton and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher issued the following statements."

Chancellor Dr. Cecil Staton:

"I am proud of the support Pirate Nation provided to our efforts. While I am disappointed by the decision, I remain undaunted in my commitment to ECU athletics and the excellence displayed by our wonderful student-athletes, coaches and staff."

Truth be told, this doesn't come as a huge surprise. Nearly 20 schools are on the Big 12's radar, and East Carolina isn't really in the top two or three candidates when it comes to athletic success.

It's thought that the three leading candidates are BYU, Cincinnati and Houston - not necessarily in that order. The league has not specified when it plans on making a final decision regarding which schools to invite.