Blog Entry

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 9:15 pm

West Virginia and the Big East Conference are nearing agreement on a settlement worth at least $20 million that would resolve all issues between both parties, college football industry sources told

The Mountaineers will join the Big 12 for the 2012-13 school year. However, in a bizarre twist, sources told that West Virginia officials have contacted future Big East members to see if one could join in 2012 instead of 2013.

The reason is that with West Virginia’s departure to the Big 12, the Big East will be left with only seven football members this fall. Without an immediate replacement for West Virginia, the remaining Big East schools will be scrambling to find a 12th opponent. It’s unknown why West Virginia would assist a league that WVU athletic director Oliver Luck compared to “a ship … seriously going down,” except that it could lower West Virginia’s buyout, sources said.

Luck did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Despite lawsuits filed by West Virginia and the Big East, West Virginia still plans to join the Big 12 this year. The Big 12 has already sent its 2012 schedule, with West Virginia on it, to its television partners and is expected to publicly release the schedule this week.

While WVU has always planned to join in 2012, Big East commissioner John Marinatto has stated on multiple occasions, including Wednesday, that the league would require West Virginia to honor the league’s 27-month exit agreement. However, sources said privately the league has conceded they can’t stop West Virginia from leaving.

The Big East, though, likely would receive substantial monetary damages. Even Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman said his school might seek liquidated damages against WVU after WVU canceled a Sept. 8 game at Florida State, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The $20 million settlement figure is believed to be contingent on the Big East being able to get a replacement for West Virginia in 2012 and certainly could increase if it had to play with only seven members in 2012. It’s unknown if that $20 million figure includes the $5 million West Virginia paid upon notifying the Big East last October it was bolting to the Big 12.

Acting Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas recently told the West Virginia media that the Big 12 would consider assisting the Mountaineers financially with their exit fee, if the school asked.

Marinatto, who was on a teleconference Wednesday to announce Memphis joining the league in 2013, would not comment on whether the Big East is trying to bring in a member in 2012 or if they would help a future member financially to leave its current conference home.

“The question is related to the impending litigation we're involved in on two fronts," Marinatto said. "It would be inappropriate for me to get into specifics about all of that at this point. I'm going to not talk about that."

Boise State, San Diego State, UCF, SMU, Houston and Memphis are scheduled to join the Big East in 2013 with Navy coming on board in 2015. Marinatto added the Big East would not stage a conference championship football game until 2015 when Navy would - at least for now - become its 12th football playing member.

Also, Wednesday night, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that if the Big East does not find a replacement for West Virginia this fall, then Syracuse and Rutgers could play each other twice with both games counting in the conference standings. One game would be played at Rutgers and the second game possibly at Yankee Stadium.

Since: Oct 8, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2012 5:19 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Pitt fan here, I will say this only once:  LET'S GOOOO MOUNTAINEERS (and settle this lawsuit)! Wow, I feel dirty ;-)

The resolution of this case will only help Pitt & Cuse get to the ACC even faster.  Marinatto will have a huge PR problem if he permits  WVU to exit for a $20 MM payment, yet holds Pitt and Cuse to their conference commitments for what's left of their 27 month out.

Pitt and Cuse could very well thumb their noses at the Big East and bolt for the ACC once the WVU case is resolved, and dare Marinatto to sue them. 

A huge issue, all Big east teams already have a hole in their schedules because of the absence of TCU (and Pitt had to pay to get out of a date with Central FL to place TCU on the conference schedule in the first place).  TCU was just permitted to leave without waiting 27 months (granted they weren't full fledged members of the conference yet), so this could be key in getting Pitt and Cuse out early as well.

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 5:18 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

All that wealth and WVU still beats your champ by 37...  The SEC needs to teach you how to buy better players with all that money.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: February 8, 2012 5:12 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Here is the latest from the WALL STREET JOURNAL for what these 4 Schools are worth in football ONLY. This article was written by DARREN EVERSON


-  $ 213 MILLION

;-  $ 180 MILLION

; -  $ 133 MILLION

THESE ARE cold hard facts my football friends as reported by the WALL STREE JOURNAL.  WVU, Life can be a nightmare when you have to pay through the nose to get out of the BIG EAST.  It looks like Marinatto will laugh his way all the way to the BIG EAST BANK in this mess.

WVU fans don't need to be worried about the ACC, FLORIDA STATE, VIRGINIA TECH and CLEMSON; you need to get a grip on leaving the BE and heading WEST next year.  GOOD LUCK and Happy TRAILS to you !     

Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 5:11 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

This will not be welcome news to tA&Mjc or MU as they have yet to negotiate their buyout terms.  They're hoping to get the same reduced deal that Nebraska and CU got; but if the Big12 needs to help WVU financially in order to replace them, they may not be so willing to deal (not to mention that NU and CU left before the deadline while the Texas a&m aggies and MU left after the deadline creating a greater hardship).

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 5:00 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Don't know who they could get to join on this short of a notice.  Conf USA isn't letting any of thier 4 go, because they'd lose the ability to have a conf champ game in 2012.  That leaves Boise and SDSU.  Boise has already said it isn't happening.  Guess that leaves SDSU?
It would have to be from the MWC.  Thanks to the BCS shutting out Boise, either could leave the MWC for roughly $7 million to join in 2012.  Don't count Boise completely out.  They said that they didn't think they could pull it off for 2012.  That doesn't mean they can't or won't try.

Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:58 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Here's my $0.02:

C-USA and MWC merge, but have to dissolve to do that, so all 6 of the Big East-bound teams leave for the Big East once that happens.  WVU pays their $20 million and leaves the Big East in 2012.  Pitt and Syracuse pay $15 million to leave in 2013, or wait until 2014.  C-USA and MWC become a 16-team FB conference (15 all sports) under a new name with a new TV deal.  Boise, SDSU, UCF, Memphis, Houston, and SMU all leave with no penalty (if there's no conference to leave, then there's no penalty).

Since: Oct 17, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:57 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

if marinatto had any dignity he'd choke himself to death on his boyfriends cock

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:47 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

$21.5 million is the figure that I'm guessing at.  Pitt AD Pederson publicly stated in an interview with CBS radio that Marinara sauce offered them an immediate exit for $21.5 million.  You can't reasonably expect to hold equal members on different terms.  I don't understand why they just didn't do the same thing for WVU in the beginning.  The only thing I can figure is that Marinara sauce thought the attorney's could stall it long enough that WVU would HAVE to stay for 2012.

Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:44 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

The FSU director has no idea what liquidated damages are.  What a dope.

Since: Aug 30, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:43 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Swofford and ESPN started all of this.  Send your questions to espn.

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