Blog Entry

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:00 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 9:41 am

West Virginia and the Big East Conference have reached a verbal agreement that would compensate the Big East $20 million and allow the Mountaineers to join the Big 12 Conference this season, college football industry sources told

On Wednesday, first reported the Big East Conference and West Virginia were nearing a settlement of at least $20 million that would resolve all issues between the two parties. That settlement was reached one day later.

"It probably will be officially done [on Friday]," a source told

The Charleston Daily Mail first reported Thursday night that West Virginia and the Big East had reached a $20 million “conditional agreement.” West Virginia must pay the Big East $11 million and the Big 12 Conference would be responsible for the remaining $9 million, the Daily Mail reported. Acting Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said recently the Big 12 would consider assisting the Mountaineers with their exit fees, if they asked.

It’s unknown if the $20 million is in addition to, or includes, the $5 million exit fee that West Virginia initially paid when it announced in October it was withdrawing from the Big East to join the Big 12 in 2012 and would not honor the league’s 27-month notice requirement before leaving.

Besides the $11 million it must pay the Big East, West Virginia also owes Florida State $500,000 after last week canceling a Sept. 8 game in Tallahassee. FSU athletic director Randy Spetman told the Orlando Sentinelhis school might also seek liquidated damages against WVU if a comparable opponent can not be found.

Last week the Big 12 Conference indicated it had provided its television partners with its 2012 football schedule and that West Virginia was on it. The league also is expected to release the schedule to the public on Friday. previously reported that West Virginia officials had contacted future Big East members to see if one could join the Big East in 2012, instead of 2013, to lower the amount of financial hardship to the league and also likely reduce the amount of West Virginia’s settlement with the league.

The Daily Mail reported that West Virginia’s $20 million settlement would not increase if the Big East is unable to find a replacement for the Mountaineers this fall.

Boise State is the most likely candidate to join the Big East a year early. Sources told that Boise State has had discussions with the Western Athletic Conference to determine if its Olympic sports teams could join the WAC in 2012 so the Broncos’ football program could join the Big East this fall.

Boise State would have to pay the Mountain West about $7 million to $9 million to join the Big East in 2012, instead of 2013. Last week, Boise State president Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman it was "too late" for the Broncos to join the Big East in 2012. However, sources said they were skeptical of Kustra's comments and believe Boise State will be playing in the Big East this fall.

On Wednesday’s teleconference to announce Memphis as the Big East’s newest member, Big East commissioner John Marinatto would not comment on if the league would have a new team added for 2012 or when he expected the issues between the league and West Virginia to be resolved.

With the legal issues behind them, the Mountaineers officially will join the 10-team Big 12 Conference on July 1 along with TCU. The remaining Big 12 members are: Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech.


Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:49 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

Finally the Big East has pulled the plug on the life support machine and let WVU go where it belongs to the Big XII.  Although the settlement could have been a lot less if the Big East had spent more time finding a replacement team instead of constantly boasting the validity and enforcability of its 27 month policy, its a small price to pay for the future that's ahead.  The college landscape is changing and the reality of a plus one in the future is becoming more likely with the construction of the four major conferences:  Big XII, Big X, Pac 12, and SEC, these four conference winners matched up in BCS games with a plus one after that.  The ACC had better take note, as we head in this direction your viable parts will be plucked from you the way you tried to do the Big East,  Florida State and Clemson your on the clock BigXII or SEC???

Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:45 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

I personally would like to see Louisville and Cincy.  They are not our oldest or most intense regional rivalry but both of them have good football coaches and their programs have continued to get better every year.  And their basketball teams goes without saying as they are good every year.

Since: Jan 26, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:44 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

If the Big12 just adds Florida State as well, it could save UWV $500,000.

Since: Aug 13, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:34 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

A wholehearted welcome to the Big 12! Now, let's stert working on some regional competition for you. Just out of curiosity, which two universities would West Virginia fans most like the Big 12 to add for some reasonably local competition? Realistic choices, of course. I understand that both Clemson and Florida State are in active talks with the Big 12 and Louisville was a photo finish with West Virginia for the 10th slot. Any suggestions?

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:31 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

PSU, there is no need for Pitt and Syracuse to leave now, and in fact the ACC isn't ready for them yet so it wouldn't be of benefit to anyone.

As for the finances of the situation, I have heard the following rumors on message boards and around the water cooler...  The $11 million that WVU will owe the Big East includes the $5 million already paid less bowl payouts that the Big East still owes WVU.  That all adds up to WVU only paying about $3 million, give or take, to the Big East.  I imagine the specifics of the deal will come out in short order.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:26 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

Welcome to the Big XII.  Glad y'all are on board!  Looking forward to a roadtrip to Morgantown!!!

Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:24 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

Just want to know the answer to the question of where did WVU come up with 11 million dollars?
Well..I a can't say for certain, but I do know it wasn't collected by selling jersey's in a tattoo parlor............Sealed

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:23 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

I used to think that college players shouldn't be paid, but seeing deals like this go down, and the possible deal that Pitt and Syracuse could be paying to leave the Big East, I am reconsidering.  This deal, and the others, is evidence that there is too much money in college football.  Obviously, there is more money than these colleges know what to do with if they have an extra $20million just to move conferences.  I think that it may be time to give some more of the money to the students.

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:11 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

How many young people could be afforded scholarships with this amount of money?  

Come on Observer2008,

Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Michigan, and on and on each have more than a Billion in their endowment funds, some multi-billion.  Why aren't you whining about them not tapping into that money for the betterment of students everywhere?

Take your socialist, share the wealth mindset over to MSNBC (or is it MSDNC?).  This is a financial deal that will be beneficial for West Virginia University in the very near term and over the long term.  If you could do this deal (assuming you were a capitalist) I am sure you would recognize the financial return and jump at the chance.


Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:55 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

I'm very happy that they ruled WVU had to pay some big bucks to leave the conference!
Actually, nobody "ruled" anything. A judge ordered WVU and the Big East to enter into non-binding arbitration. All that means is that the two sides had an opportunity to sit across the negotiating table and try to work out a win-win agreement, or at least one that limits the losses to both sides. That's what happened. Acccording the contract in force, the Big East would have received $10M and WVU would have had to wait 27 months to get out. That's bad for both sides. Under the agreement just announced, the Big East receives $20M, but loses WVU early. WVU gets to join the Big 12 early, but the university and the new conference have to shell out extra cash. That's the closest to a win-win either side is going to get here. It's better for all parties than if the terms of the original contract had been enforced. So I understand your frustration as a UCONN fan, but WVU is certainly not getting punished for leaving the Big East. And it may hurt to hear it, but UCONN would take the same deal that WVU got if they could join the Big Ten or the ACC. They'd take it in a heartbeat. But not to worry. Eventually college athletics will reach a new equilibrium and things will calm down. UCONN has enough value in the market that they'll be ok.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or