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 CBSSports.com.

The Mountaineers will join the Big 12 for the 2012-13 school year. However, in a bizarre twist, sources told CBSSports.com 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.
Comments

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:14 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

I would just like to see it end already so we can move on! WVU is leaving and will play in the Big 12 next year regardless of what they have to pay lets put a number on it and prepare for next year. The BE will survive but they wont do much better than that. People want to believe that WVU is in the mountains without a fan base but those people are sadly mistaken at least on half. Mountains yes but without a fanbase i dont think so. Most people who becomne adults in the state of WV and need jobs have to move out of state to get a better paying job. Therefore i would say alot of the Mountaineer fanbase doesnt even live in the state. Im not saying we should be looked at like Michigan or Texas but I will say WVU has loyal fans that produce revenue and TV ratings not only in the state of WV but all up and down the east coast. Im a loyal fan of these Mountaineers and have no doubt they will florish no matter what conference they are in! Goodluck to all the teams involved in this mess but most of all God Bless America and our soldiers! If not for them we wouldnt have this great country to watch and play our beloved football! GO EERS and Goodluck in the Big 12!



Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:10 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

I do not see how the Big Least can add a school for the 2012 season.
They CAN pick off a MWC team for 2012.  There's nothing in the conference bylaws to make them wait, they simply have to pay more.  It works out to (since BSU didn't get a BCS bid) about $7 mil to exit now.  Had BSU gotten into the BCS it would have been around $21 mil instead...

So it's possible, if they can convince a MWC team to jump.



Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:06 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

I can tell you that no one from this market (outside of alums) could not care less about West Virginia sports.
So everyone cares about WVU?  Glad you cleared that up...

Between the Steelers, Penguins and Panthers...our sports attentions are pretty filled to the brim. I would even guess there are more Pirates fans than WVU fans.

Quite possibly, but we were talking about college sports.  Pittsburgh is quite obviously a pro sports town, leading off with the Steelers and Pens.  That's not debatable, it's just the truth.  But if you want to talk college sports don't try to say Pitt has a big following.  Come on down here to the south hills and try to find a Pitt fan.  There are none in my neighborhood. (At least willing to admit to it) We do have PSU, ND and other WVU fans though.  In fact I invited the guy who's a ND fan over to watch the ND/Pitt game.  I think I surprised him by cheering for his team...

Recently, a sports talk show just spent 2 hours asking who would watch a Big XII game if WVU was in it...and exactly 4 callers out of 50 said they would. Sorry, there is no market here man.

Who's show was it?  I listen to 93.7 constantly and the only topic they have is Steelers and Pens.  Except for the weekend fill-in kids from Pitt that is.  So I'd really like to know who's show spent two hours on WVU football.






Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:02 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

I am glad to see that West Virginia is actually going to a competitve conference.  As far as getting marshall off the schedule, it cannot happen.  The West Virginia Politicians stuck their big noses into it, and proclaimed that West Virginia will play Marshall (also in West Virginia) every year.  Hopefully that will now end because of West Virginia's move.  I do not see how the Big Least can add a school for the 2012 season.  All of their future teams are in conferences now.  Not only that, all of their future teams are in conferences with more teams than the Big East would have if they moved over to become the 8th team.  The MWC currently has 10 teams, and CUSA has 12.  That means that the team that moved would also have to find non-con games to fill in the schedule.  The good news in all of this is that hopefully, the Big East will lose it's AQ status for 2012 and have to earn their way to a BCS game.



Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:57 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Reply to:  Auburn Phil

Have you notice, that the ACC is always putting down the Big East, but everytime the ACC wants to expand - the ACC takes Big East teams?  Wouldn't it be more accurate to rename the ACC something like the Atlantic East?  Or just merger the names BE and ACC?

And at the same time this is occurring, isn't the Big East - by constantly adding teams from C-USA, really becoming C-USA?

Instead of moving teams, why not just move the name of the conference?



The ACC certainly is not known for its football.  But it once was a basketball conference.  I have read reports that the latest invitations to Big East teams was started by Duke's Coach K and UNC's Roy Williams because there were so few teams in the ACC today ..."known  for their basketball programs".  By association, this bring down both UNC and Duke.  And what better way to destroy a competitor, than by bringing their resources (schools, and fans) into your conference.




Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:47 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

WVU will end up a with a compromise "package" deal.  Some money and some games will be in the package to the Big East.  That way, both sides can claim victory. 

WVU will work to clear their schedule of the FCS teams, Marshall and Florida State.  Then use those dates to schedule games with Big East teams who are unable to schedule replacement games for WVU.  Doing this, should reduce the amount of money for a buyout (say $ 1-2M/game?).  This can easily be scheduled until the Big East can schedule the new teams coming into the conference.

As a WVU fan, I would prefer to see games with Louisville and Cin.  Hopefully, those schools will be able to eventually leave the Big East and join the Big 12 - starting an eastern divison and providing short travel distances for WVU.  This woud also provide the Big 12 with a foothold in SEC country (Louisville) and Big1G (Cinn).  It would be interesting to see what happens if those schools can offer games with quality Big 12 opponents.

WV has a history of poor economic conditions.  That's why I left in 1972.  Moved to Richmond, VA to get a job.  Found a lot of former WV natives living in the area.  My sister, who lives in NC, also found numerous WV natives.  And when my wife and I vacation in Florida, we run into a lot of WV natives.  We seem to be everywhwre.  But we share one thing in common - we all tend to be loyal WVU fans.


Back in 1972 when I moved to Richmond, Va the UVA and VT teams - were terrible.  A former basketball coach from Virginia Commonwealth University (the VCU that went to the final 4 in basketball last year), had a radio talk show.  He was always stressing that UVA and VT football would be terrible until they started doing what WVU was doing.  Travel to play quality opponents.  At that time, WVU was even travelling to play Oklahoma (WVU won :=))

When compared to schools like UVA and VT, WVU has a much smaller athletic department budget.  And WVU tends to get 2-3 stars recruits,oftentimes kids with no star ratings.  Yet WVU has the highest winning percentage of any school never to win a national title in football. 

If a WV's native son - Notre Dame coach Lou Hotz - had not lead Notre Dame to defeat WVU, WVU would probably had won a title in the 1980's  Hey, Lou - wonder why WVU didn't hire your son Skip to replace RichRod$?  

Until the B. Steward years, WVU was seen as a blue collar team that had a wide following - kind of like the Boise State of today.  But WVU did play at least one top team every year.  And over the years WVU surprised several highly regarded teams in BCS bowls (Oklahoma, Georgia, Clemson). 

Getting out of the Big East, and getting into a conference known for their football teams will elevate WVU's reputation.  May take a while for VWU to adjust.  But I remember when VT left the Big East for the ACC it was said Virginia Tech would be unable to compete.  Yet VT has been winnning the conference in football - they just cannot get a handle on the basketball.

I'm all for WVU's move to the Big 12.





Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:40 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Not surprisingly, it is always about money or legal confrontations--not sportsmanship, educational opportunites, or regional considerations.  What kind of example does this set with youth or for that matter allumni (who are usually pulling the strings on these movements)?  While it is fun to read about all the conference movements, it flys in the face of tradition and reasonable alignments.  Should all of this be placed at the feet of the BCS?  Me thinks so.



Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:39 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Mac Bridger....Being from Pittsburgh...I can tell you that no one from this market (outside of alums) could not care less about West Virginia sports. Between the Steelers, Penguins and Panthers...our sports attentions are pretty filled to the brim. I would even guess there are more Pirates fans than WVU fans. If the Big XII is banking on the Pittsburgh market with WVU..they have been mistaken. Recently, a sports talk show just spent 2 hours asking who would watch a Big XII game if WVU was in it...and exactly 4 callers out of 50 said they would. Sorry, there is no market here man.



Since: Sep 3, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:34 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

I have no problem with conference realignment, I love it!

My only question is why is it Ok for the Big East to poach new members from C-USA but they sue when WVU trys to go to the Big 12? 



Since: Aug 30, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:26 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

watup - unless you have been sitting at the table with WVU, Rick Pitino and John Marinatto, negotiating the exit, be quiet.......WVU isn't going to have to pay 40 mil - the BE owes WVU money


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