College football industry sources told CBSSports.com that "there is no doubt" Pittsburgh and Syracuse will be in the ACC in 2013. It's just a question of what type of additional compensation the Big East would require from each school.
Marinatto’s stance is a complete reversal from the league's viewpoint since Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced in September they were leaving the Big East for the ACC. He has stressed continually both schools would have to remain until July 1, 2014 because "the by-laws are the by-laws are the by-laws" when explaining why both schools should remain in the Big East for the full 27 months.
When Pittsburgh and Syracuse gave their notice they were leaving the league, the Big East's exit agreement required a $5 million buyout and 27 months notice. West Virginia was allowed to leave for the Big 12 with less than a year's notice by reaching a $20 million settlement with the Big East.
“Our membership, given the speed and success of our expansion initiatives, I think it’s open to having the discussions with both Pittsburgh and Syracuse about them having an early departure,” Marinatto said. “So we haven't actually had those conversations yet, but our membership is certainly willing to do that at this point given where we've landed.”
The reason the Big East is more receptive to letting them out in 2013, instead of 2014, is with the addition of Temple and its other recent additions, the Big East would have 20 basketball members in the 2013-14 school year if Pittsburgh and Syracuse remained in the league. Without Pittsburgh and Syracuse in 2013, the Big East still would have 18 basketball members.
ACC commissioner John Swofford told CBSSports.com last month when the league announced what divisions Pittsburgh and Syracuse would compete in when they join, that the ACC was ready to add both schools as soon as they were able to leave the Big East – whether that’s in 2013 or 2014.“The fact we made our decision how we will schedule and compete certainly helps us [when they join],” Swofford said last month. “In terms of when that time may come, I don’t want to get into a hypothetical of this or that. Our position continues to be that we want to prepare ourselves when they’re ready and it’s appropriate for them to join us.”