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: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:48 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

LMAO! that some of you people actually believe that ANY ACC school would leave for the Big 12 blows my mind, how dumb can you be? NO way that happens. The ONLY way any school leaves the ACC would be if the SEC came calling, period.

Since: Aug 13, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:43 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

It also makes total sense that the Big 12, with 10 teams, is pursuing Clemson and Florida State, or MAryland and Georgia Tech, or Louisville, as the website suggests, the first two having formed feasibility committees to study the proposition. This would enable to conference to expand back to 12 teams and make it even more stable and would give West Virginia some regional games. One really should not expect the Big 12 to invite West Virginia into the conference and then leave them dangling geographically. That would make no sense at all. I think Rodney is correct that the ACC would try everything they could to keep Florida State in the ACC, but if they have already formed a committee to study the feasibility of joining the Big 12, their future in the ACC might be in jeopardy and the Big 12 just might be willing to get into a bidding war for them. Who wins in a bidding for for a football team? The Big 12 or the ACC? I'm just speculating, of course, since I have no inside information. I am sure, however, that the Big 12 will not stay at 10 in the years to come and leave West Virginia without regional competition. And the ACC now has better potential partners than what is left of the Big East.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:31 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Oh, and one other thing. If Randy Spetman truly claims he will seek damages from WVU for the cancelled game this year, he is not very smart, and needs to speak to an attorney.   There was a $350,000. buyout, and an adittional $150,000. penalty because WVU cancelled after the buyout deadline.  End of discussion.

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:31 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Rodney, "Money talks and BS walks".  The truth is Texas was considering leaving as other members of the Big 12 were upset with them not sharing revenue from the Longhorn Network.  That issue has been resolved.  I would be very surprised if Oklahoma or Texas would leave the Big 12 now.  First, it is a very big market and they are top dogs.  Why would they want to share their competive (both in terms of market share and on the field) advantage with another conference?  It makes no sense.  The Big 12 with Texas, Oklahoma, Ok State, WVU, K State, Baylor, TT, TCU, Kan, and Iowa State is a large market, and will draw a lot of interest from the networks.  I wouldn't be surprised to see them add a couple more schools to get up to 12.  To date the PAC 12 and SEC have both announced that they are happy with 12 teams and have no desire to expand to the so called "Super Conference".  Economically, bigger is not always better.  There is a point of diminishing return regarding market share.  I simply don't see it happening.  Finally, the Big 12 is hands down a better football conference than the ACC, and maket size is comparable.  I don't see the ACC drawing any teams from the Big 12 except possibly WVU based soley on geography.  And, the ACC has no chance of drawing any school away from the SEC. They could raid the BE one final time, but does that really strengthen the ACC?  Didn't think so!  The ACC should hold their breath because in truth if their is movement towards Super Conferences the ACC could be in trouble as they would make the most sense for the SEC to vulture.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:28 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Well, we'll just have to wait and see. Won't we Rodney?  One fact everyone agrees on - it is all about money.  The ACC blew it when they didn't go after the flagship football program of the BE - West Virginia.  Now the far superior conference, Big-12 is back to 10 teams, and they will only expand further if they get more bigtime programs, ie. FSU and Clemson.  Why wouldn't these schools go? Mo' money, mo' money.  I think you will be proven wrong Rodney.  ACC is a basketball conference which is adding two more basketball schools - Pitt and Syracuse.  Look at things like stadium capacity, TV viewership, home attendance. Big-12 rules in all those categories. Clemson and FSu are the only two schools in the ACC who excel in those categories in football, which is the sport that rules financially.  I agree with the poster who said it is ironic that the ACC's first raid of the BE, an attempt to kill the BE, was what started all this conference realignment, and now they will end up the losers after all is said and one.  Funny!

Since: Dec 16, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:10 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

The Big XII is Oklahoma and Texas. And both of those schools have, in the past, considered leaving the conference. If the Pac 10 or SEC snaps up one of those two the other will have no choice but to follow. Without them the Big 12 is just another version of the Big east. Will it happen this year or next? Unlikely. But it's very liklely to happen in the next round of expansion. The ACC isnt going anywhere. Sure it's a basketball conference that plays football. But those schools seem to be content with that. I don't see Clemson or Florida state leaving. The ACC could do without Clemson. But they will do whatever it takes to keep Florida state. The ACC has always been proactive. Unlike the B.E or Big 12.

Since: Sep 13, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:08 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

$10-$20 million.........ok so call a couple boosters... deal complete WV to the big 12

Since: Oct 28, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:42 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Its not going to be $20MM - closer to $11MM as reported by the Pittsburgh and West Virginia news media who have better sources than McMurphy.  Which is only $6MM above the base exit fee and in line with what nebraksa and Colorado paid to the Big 12 when they left that conference last year.  No injunctions, no damages to each individual school, no forcing them to stay like Meatball has sworn about for the last six months.



Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:40 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

This is getting to be like high school kids working out prom dates. 

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:31 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

WOW!!!  If this doens't confirm to you where $'s rank in university presidents' thinking of major mens' sports, nothing will.  Pretty clear that WVU has been told that they can get out now for the low, low price of just $20M ... IF they can arrange a 2012-2013 Big East football replacement for themselves.  Pretty strange bedfellows indeed.

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