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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: Apr 10, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:52 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

I don't know WVU's finances, so I won't speculate there. The reason the Big XII is willing to kick in support is because they have to meet their contractual obligations with FOX to ensure the huge 2nd/3rd Tier rights contract they recently signed. A&M put them in a bind, but they were able to secure TCU. Then MU put them in a bigger bind because of the lateness of their decision and they had to ensure WVU was in the Big XII next year.

This is why you can expect the Big XII to aggressively pursue the penalties against A&M and MU. They were part of the signed contract and I'm sure the conference will be looking to offset their costs by collecting as much as possible from those two institutions.

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:44 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

If I am Pitt and Syracuse I bolt now.   You can argue the fact Little "FAT" Marinatto let another school leave before the 27 month period and the cost of getting out of a non-conference game a year ago because of TCU and now having to add a I-AA school to replace both WVU and TCU.  Seriously Rutgers and Syracuse are considering playing twice?  Pitt and Syracuse should just leave.  Big East can sue all they want, by the time it plays out in the courts it will be 2015 and may not be relevant.

Since: Aug 5, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:40 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

I think they took it from the "petty cash" account...

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:27 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?  Why is Big 12 paying the other 9 million.

Since: Feb 5, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:14 am

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

I feel as though I have been in purgatory for the last several months.  It may have cost WVU 20million to get me out, but I truly appreciate them paying it.  I almost feel as though DNA evidence has got me out of prison for a crime I did not commit.  I appreciate the Big 12's indulgence in this process and we (WVU) will return more than we receive.

Since: Jun 16, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:12 am

Report: Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

Good Luck in the Big 12 WVU. As a Pitt fan I will miss the backyard brawl every year. Hopefully in a few years when all of this settles down Pitt and WVU can start playing each other again because it is a great rivalry. I never liked WVU because of my loyalty to Pitt but because WVU is somewhat of a local team and is covered by the Pittsburgh media I will be rooting for you guys to do well in the Big 12. It will be interesting to see how recruiting will go in the western PA area now that both schools aren't in the same conference. I'm guessing not too good for Pitt. If a kid wants to play in a football conference the Big 12 looks alot better in my opinion than the ACC.

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:06 am

Report: Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

Hey stuz .... it's ALWAYS about the money.  Even when he/she/they/them says it's not about the money, it's till about the money.  The sooner you learn that, the better.


Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 6:47 am

Report: Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

SEE YAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!  GO EERS!!!!!!!Cool

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 5:54 am

Report: Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

Sure feels good to have this legal mess behind us (almost) and be able to look forward to renewing our season tickets knowing that Morgantown will be welcoming in some great Big XII talent this fall!  Will also be nice to see the actual Big XII schedule which is supposed to be released today as well. 

Many thanks to Oliver Luck, West Virginia University and the Big XII for helping to make this all happen!  I will certainly be booking my flights soon for what I hear may be a November meeting in the ATX.

I will indeed miss the Backyard Brawl but can only hope that somehow in time the two schools can potentially renew the rivalry.

Let's Go Mountaineers!

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 5:29 am

Report: Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

I'm very happy that they ruled WVU had to pay some big bucks to leave the conference! oh the irony of scumbag WVU leaving for money when in fact they will ave to pay alot just to leave

What a dumb statement, WVU will pay 11 Mil, based on revenue sharing projectiona, they will have made up the 11 Mil, in less than 2 years after leaving the BE. Smart move Mountaineers, too bad for UCONN.

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