Blog Entry

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

Posted on: October 28, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 2:05 pm
Will West Virginia stay or will they go? More specifically, when will they go?

Actually, the Mountaineers are gone – they’re leaving the Big East for the Big 12. But there seems to be a, well, slight difference of opinion when West Virginia actually will join the Big 12. 

The Big East has a 27-month notification period to leave – the league has said multiple times Pittsburgh and Syracuse can’t leave for the ACC until June 1, 2014 – but the Big 12 and West Virginia indicate they’ll join forces next year.

Following’s report, the Big East and Big 12 released statements this morning within a few minutes of each other. 

The Big 12’s version:

“The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors have voted unanimously to accept West Virginia University as a full conference member effective July 1, 2012.  The Mountaineers will begin competing in the Big 12 beginning with the 2012-13 athletic season.” 

The Big East’s version from Commissioner John Marinatto:

“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.” 

So the Big 12 and West Virginia say West Virginia is joining the Big 12 next season, while the Big East says it “is committed to enforcing the 27-month notification period.”

Multiple Big East sources have said they have no indication that the league would change its 27-month notification rule. Marinatto has said previously he was prepared to have a 14-team football league, including Pitt and Syracuse along with its new members, in 2012 and/or 2013. If West Virginia doesn't leave next season, it conceivably could be a 15-team football league in 2012/2013.

This, my friends, could get interesting.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:32 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

Is the Big East going to be around for 27 more months? 
I like WVU strong arming their position which will probably boil down to an early exit fee or buyout to get out off
the Titanic Big East schedule.....

Dave Gavitt is rolling in his grave

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 1:44 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

College Sports is a free enterprise system. If the fans don’t want realignment stop going to the game and don’t watch it on TV. But the fans do want realignment. They want to see their team play the best teams each and every year. Maybe the colleges who do not put the best product or team on the field are the problem. Remember the fans will watch the best product; TV will pay for the best product that is a fact. So next time you see realignment remember this is the benefit of free enterprise and socialism is the best way not to see the best product on the field….

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:55 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

I'm telling ya right now, WVU, Pitt and Syracuse are having a good LOL listening to Marinatto "threaten" them with this 27 month thing. The Big East, as it stands, consists of Louisville, Rutgers, UConn, USF, Cincinatti.  Sorry Marinatto, five schools doesn't equal a conference anymore.  Stop acting like a jilted lover and move on. In the end, the schools will negotiate to pay bigger exit fees to go now and let the Big East either die or reconstitute itself.   At this very moment I am betting B12 admins and school AD's are working on the 2012 sports schedules.  If Marinatto has any common sense (which is debatable), he works quickly to let these schools go, gets some cash together from the exit fees and uses that cash to get some other schools in to the Big East.  I don't think Louisville is long for the Big East world either so it's down to four teams.  And honestly who would want to jump in to that mess right now?  

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:49 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

Marinatto, I feel will be in a legal quagmire once the BIG EAST football gets back to at least 8 football members. The real reason there is a 27 month delay period, is to give the BE conference an opportunity to replace a school(s) that is/are leaving.  In this situation, once the Big East invites and accepts new members back to the magic number of 8(the number of football schools in the league when PITT, Syracuse, WVU) legally these schools are off the hook. So, it would seem the longest the Big East could keep them is next year, the 2012/13 school year.  I don't think there is anyway possible this "blow hard" conference commissioner could legally keep these 3 schools any longer at the best. He cannot legally make a "Mockery" out of PITT, Syracuse & WVU by keeping them in the league, once it is back to at least 8 Football Schools. Betcha on this !! 

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:47 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

I wouldn't think that the NCAA's definition of a conference has any thing to do with the validity of the contract. The Big East certainly would argue using that as an issue about how the remaining schools have been damaged by West Virginia's and the Big XII's lack of integrity and off handed treatment of this legal commitment.

In practicality, any early departure is solved by opening WV's wallet. Hopefully, they respect the taxpayer's of West Virginia in any agreement.

Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:05 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

This all comes down to money.  The Big XII will be getting roughly $30 million from Mizzou and TAMU to leave (about $15 million each after negotiations, sticker price is $28 million each).  The Big XII needs to stay at 10 for 2012 or has to start paying money back to their TV partners, so they would probably be willing to fork some of that exit fee to the Big East to let WVU out early.  Pitt was rumored to be told that it would cost about $21 million for it to leave early from the BE, so assuming that's the same $ for WVU and the Big XII pays roughly $16 million of it (WVU would probably not be able to get the $5 standard exit fee paid for, but you never know), that still leaves the Big XII with $14 million to split 8 ways (sorry TCU, not for you).  

Add TCU's $5 million to WVU's $21 million, and that gets $26 million - enough for the BE to pay a good chunk of Boise's exit fee from the MWC, which might be a selling point to get Boise.  If Pitt and Syracuse somehow find $21 million each as well to leave for 2012, the BE should have more than enough to pay for all of the other invitees' exit fees too.  If not, then we're stuck with some sort of hodge-podge interim situation until 2014. 

My guess is that the Big XII pays the BE to get WVU for next year, but Pitt and Syracuse will wait it out, or pay less to get out for 2013. 

Since: May 5, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:55 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

Technically the NCAA requires a minimum number of schools to "legally" be a conference.

Although the Big East is counting the 2 schools leaving for the ACC, and WVA ( and maybe even TCU) once they announced they were leaving the Big East no longer has the minimum required number of members.

And since the other schools they are courting have not joined, they can't make any of the 4 that are leaving stay.

I think the LAW will sort that out pretty quick...

I think that is why WVA announced BEFORE the Big East added anyone.

Pitt and Syracuse couldn't use the arument last week

but WVA Syracuse and Pitt can today!

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:52 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

Why would the Big East let any school out early? I am sure that the contract with TV will not allow it without a fine. Remember each school agreed to the 27 month rule before they took any TV money. Well the only thing the Big East has is the 27 month rule. The Big 12 has a 6 year rule if you leave the conference you give all of you 1st and 2nd tear TV money to the Big 12. Just because I want it does not mean it will happen. We must remember that..... or do we have a playoff system?

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:46 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

Um...Louisville is the power? Since when? Cincinnati is now, and already was. And we beat Marshall, in your place, with our 4th string QB a few years ago...Louisville is the most overhauled team in all of FBS football this year. 25 seniors graduated last year. I like Marshall, but I think you may be blowing Louisville up a bit...

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 4:32 pm

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

Many congratulations to West Virginia and its storied football program.

I had hoped that they would not get left behind as the Big East...changes...implodes...

And thanks for the memories: all of the games played between SU and WV, over the long years.
And all the best to the Mountaineers in the Big XII.

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