Houston Takes Step Toward Big East

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University of Houston cheerleaders, file (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

University of Houston cheerleaders, file (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

By CHRIS DUNCAN,  AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) _ The University of Houston’s board of regents has voted unanimously to give Chancellor and President Renu Khator authority to negotiate a contract to move the Cougars into a more lucrative league, likely the Big East.

The regents met for about 90 minutes in executive session before a 9-0 vote on Thursday night. Khator, who is visiting Israel on business, joined the meeting via Skype.

The Big East is considering adding Houston, along with SMU and Central Florida for all sports, and Boise State, Navy and Air Force for football only. The league offers an automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series, something that Conference USA does not.

The regents convened about two hours before the No. 18 Cougars were playing Rice at nearby Robertson Stadium.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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