Tag:Big East
Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:23 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 5:46 pm
 

Temple likely headed to Big East in 2012

DALLAS – Temple is close to joining the Big East as an all-sports member in 2012, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com Wednesday morning.

The addition of Temple is imperative for the Big East, which desperately needs a school to replace West Virginia this fall after the Mountaineers reached a $20 million agreement with the league to leave for the Big 12.

One source told CBSSports.com that Temple to the Big East in 2012 "is done."

An announcement could be made as early as next week, sources told CBSSports.com.

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher, attending the BCS meetings at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Grand Hyatt Hotel, told CBSSports.com that discussions are ongoing between Temple and the Big East.

"I don't know where those will lead," Steinbrecher said.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto, also at the BCS meetings, declined comment Wednesday.

The Big East initially wanted Boise State, which will join in 2013, to join this fall as West Virginia’s replacement. However, the Big East was not willing to provide the Broncos with about $10 million they needed to leave the Mountain West in football and have their Olympic sports join the WAC a year early.

Boise State president Bob Kustra confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the Broncos would remain in the Mountain West in the 2012-13 season.

"While we have had several discussions with the Big East and the WAC in moving our sports into those two leagues a year earlier than previously stated, the University feels there were too many obstacles to overcome to make the move at this time," Kustra said in a statement. "While there certainly would have been advantages in making the move a year early, it became clear that it would not be fiscally responsible, as all of the expenses associated with early entry into the two conferences would not be covered."

Boise State would have had to pay the Mountain West between $8 million and $9 million and also pay the WAC $1.5 million.

With Boise State out of the picture, the Big East then turned its attention to Temple. The Mid-American Conference's exit fee is $2.5 million with two years notice, but it's unknown what the amount would be for a school providing less than a year's notice, a source said. To leave the Atlantic 10 Conference, where the Owls’ Olympic sports compete, would cost Temple $2 million with less than a year's notice, a source said.

Temple was one of the Big East’s original eight football members in 1991, but was expelled from the league after the 2004 season for not being competitive and not meeting certain financial requirements. However, the Owls’ program has been resurrected under the direction of Al Golden and Steve Addazio, posting a 26-12 record the last three seasons.

Golden, who left for Miami after the 2010 season, guided the Owls to their first bowl in 30 years. Addazio completed his first year with a 37-15 victory against Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl in December, only the second bowl victory in school history.

The addition of Temple will be the latest change for the Big East, which also added Memphis two weeks ago.

With Temple being added, the Big East’s membership is expected to have eight football members and 16 basketball members in 2012. In 2013, the football membership will grow to 14 with the addition of Boise State, SMU, UCF, Houston, Memphis and San Diego State. However, if Pittsburgh and Syracuse are allowed to leave a year early to the ACC, the league would have 12 football members.

In 2014, the football membership will be 12 (after Pittsburgh and Syracuse leave) but it will grow to 13 in 2015 with the addition of Navy.

Sources told CBSSports.com, the reason the Big East decided to go beyond 12 football members is because the league is preparing for the possibility it will lose Louisville if the Big 12 decides to expand by at least another team.

Multiple sources have told CBSSports.com that Louisville is the consensus choice for the Big 12’s 11th member, if the league expands, and that the Cardinals would accept an invitation to the Big 12.

Big 12 acting commissioner Chuck Neinas said Wednesday his league has no expansion meetings scheduled and is concentrating on the additions of West Virginia and TCU.

Two weeks ago when the Big East added Memphis, Marinatto said the league had reached its “primary objective” of securing a 12-team football league when Navy joins in 2015. However he opened the door to further expansion.

“We’re always going to be vigilant and we’re going to continue to do whatever is in the best interest of the conference,” Marinatto said. “You never say never (about future expansion), I guess. But we’ve reached our goal and we’re pleased that we’ve done that. But we’re always going to be obviously continuing to evaluate different opportunities as time goes on."

Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:08 am
Edited on: February 14, 2012 10:20 am
 

West Virginia officially headed to Big 12

Finally, West Virginia is officially headed to the Big 12.

The Big East Conference announced Tuesday that West Virginia's membership had been "terminated" and it was no longer a league member after June 30. The Mountaineers will join the Big 12 for the 2012-13 academic season.

"Our membership in the Big 12 offers WVU significant advantages," West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said in a statement. "The Big 12 is a strong and vibrant conference academically and athletically. We look forward to the potential academic and athletic partnerships and financial opportunities that membership in the Big 12 offers."  

Sources told CBSSports.com that the Big East will receive $20 million from West Virginia, which is responsible for $10 million. The Big 12 is "loaning" West Virginia the remaining $10 million, but the school will only be responsible for paying back about half of that amount.

Luck said the agreement prohibits discussion of the settlement, but that no state or taxpayer funds, tuition or academic support monies will be used. Any settlement funding transferred will come from private sources and independently generated athletic revenues, Luck said.

Last week, CBSSports.com reported West Virginia and the Big East reached a verbal settlement that would pay the Big East $20 million.

"West Virginia University has acknowledged and agreed that the Court in Monongalia County, WVa., will enter a judgment that the Big East Conference Bylaws are valid and enforceable, and will dismiss with prejudice all of West Virginia’s claims against the Conference," Big East commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement.

With West Virginia gone, the Big East currently has seven football members for the 2012 season. However, the league is trying to get Boise State to join a year early, sources told CBSSports.com. If the Big East is not able to find a replacement for West Virginia this fall, the remaining seven league members would have to scramble to find a 12th game.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse, which are headed to the ACC, will not try to leave the Big East this summer, sources told CBSSports.com. However, both schools will attempt to negotiate deals to allow them to join the ACC a year early in 2013.

West Virginia President Jim Clements said the school's Big 12 membership "is an investment in WVU's future. We're looking forward to the tremendous opportunities it presents – all across our university."

The Mountaineers were one of the Big East charter members in 1991 when the league formed its football conference.

Luck said the settlement with the Big East "closes a chapter and opens a new one filled with exciting possibilities for WVU’s future.  I’ve heard from Mountaineer fans across the country who have made it very clear that they are proud and honored to be heading into the Big 12.”
Posted on: February 14, 2012 8:46 am
 

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

Although West Virginia is bolting from the Big East early, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will not leave the Big East this fall for the Atlantic Coast Conference, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were scheduled to leave the Big East in 2014, but the Mountaineers filed a lawsuit to exit early. CBSSports.com reported last week that West Virginia and the Big East reached a verbal agreement that would pay the Big East $20 million and resolve the issues between the two parties, allowing the Mountaineers to join the Big 12 on July 1. 

Sources told CBSSports.com that Pittsburgh and Syracuse won’t try to leave this summer, but will attempt to negotiate deals to allow them to join the ACC a year early in 2013. Unlike West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse have not pursued any legal action to get out of the Big East’s 27-month exit requirement and leave before 2014.

The main reason Pittsburgh and Syracuse are not trying to leave the Big East this season is both schools don’t want to be “any more disruptive to the Big East” for the coming season. If Pittsburgh and Syracuse left for the ACC this summer, the Big East could be down to only five football members.

Another reason, Pittsburgh and Syracuse aren’t trying to join the ACC this fall, is because the ACC doesn’t desperately need the teams to fill out this year’s league schedule, like the Big 12 needed West Virginia to replace Missouri in its 2012 schedule.

With West Virginia paying $20 million to leave the Big East two years early, Pittsburgh and Syracuse each would likely have been required to pay the same amount to leave this summer. Also by waiting until 2013, they likely can negotiate a deal to only pay $10 million – double the $5 they initially paid when they announced they were leaving. That $10 million figure is the Big East’s current exit fee since Navy announced it was joining the league last month.

Finally the timing of a move in 2013 for Pittsburgh and Syracuse also would make more sense logistically since that’s when the Big East will be adding six members – Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF.

In December, Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said his school would honor the Big East’s 27-month exit agreement, but indicated the Orange preferred to leave sooner.

“We’re just open to seeing what happens,” Gross told CBSSports.com two months ago. “They (the Big East) are starting to put together what the new Big East will look like. As they go forward to put together new multi-media deals, they’re going to need us to move out of the way. We’re waiting for that.”

Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said repeatedly that West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse would not be allowed to exit the league until 2014.

Two weeks ago, when the ACC announced that Pittsburgh would compete in the ACC’s Coastal Division and Syracuse in the ACC’s Atlantic Division when they officially join the league, ACC commissioner John Swofford would not speculate whether the ACC would help Pitt and Syracuse financially to leave the Big East before 2014.

“The fact we made our decision how we will schedule and compete certainly helps us (when they join),” Swofford said. “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.”

That won’t be this summer, but the ACC won’t have to wait until 2014 either.



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

Big East, WVU reach $20M settlement

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 CBSSports.com.

On Wednesday, CBSSports.com 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 CBSSports.com.

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.

CBSSports.com 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 CBSSports.com 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.

Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:26 pm
 

Boise State still possibility to Big East in 2012

Boise State has had discussions with the Western Athletic Conference to determine if its Olympic sports teams could join the WAC in 2012 in case the Broncos’ football program joins the Big East this fall, sources told CBSSports.com.

“The Big East has been pushing them ‘quietly’ to join for 2012,” a source said. “The WAC has had to rearrange lots of [its Olympic sports] schedules [in anticipation of the possible move].”

Boise State, along with San Diego State, Houston, SMU, UCF and Memphis, will join the Big East in 2013. However, the Big East desperately needs a replacement this fall for West Virginia, which is leaving for the Big 12. Because of West Virginia’s departure to the Big 12, the remaining seven Big East members would each need another game. The early addition of Boise State would fill that void.

Boise State president Bob Kustra recently said it’s “too late” for the Broncos’ football program to join the Big East this fall, but multiple college football industry sources are skeptical. Boise State's non-football or Olympic sports programs will compete in the WAC.

“Boise State still hasn’t ruled out coming to the Big East early,” a source said.

Two other sources told CBSSports.com they believe Boise State will play in the Big East in 2012.

One reason is the Mountain West’s by-laws allow a school to leave early if a penalty is paid. If Boise State joined the Big East this fall, the Broncos’ would forfeit their final year of revenue in the MWC and pay double the amount of the final year’s revenue, meaning their “exit fee” would be determined by how successful they were in the MWC during the 2011-12 academic year.

So if Boise State joined the Big East for this fall it would owe the Mountain West about $8 million to $9 million.

On Friday, Kustra told the Idaho Statesman he thought it was too late to make a move for the Big East for the 2012-13 school year.

“I can't imagine how anyone can pull that off,” Kustra said. “We would never want to pull it off in a fashion that dealt shabbily with our existing partners in the Mountain West. I don't think that could ever work.”

CBSSports.com reported that West Virginia officials had contacted Big East future members to see if one could join the league a year early, which would reduce the amount of financial hardship to the league and also likely reduce the amount of West Virginia’s settlement with the league.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto was asked Wednesday if the Big East had contacted any schools about joining early in 2012 and if the league would help a school pay for its exit fees to leave early.

“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 specifically.”
Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:38 pm
 

No settlement reached yet between WVU, Big East

Nothing has been resolved between the Big East Conference and West Virginia, a court spokesperson said Thursday morning. 

A Rhode Island judge had previously ordered the parties into non-binding mediation with a Thursday deadline.

“The matter is continued to an unspecified date for another status conference,” Assistant State Court Administrator Craig Berke said in a statement.

Berke said it appears the case “continues on a path toward trial, though Judge Silverstein is certainly open to news of a settlement if that happens in the interim.”

Berke added the judge did not disclose any more information regarding his discussions with attorneys this morning. 

College football industry sources told CBSSports.com that West Virginia and the Big East were nearing a settlement that could be worth $20 million. It’s unknown if that figure includes the $5 million exit fee West Virginia already has paid.

West Virginia officials also have contacted future Big East members to see if one could join in 2012 instead of 2013, sources said. The reason would be to reduce the damages the conference could claim against the Mountaineers by leaving two years earlier than required by the league’s by-laws. 

On Wednesday, Big East commissioner John Marinatto would not comment on how soon the league’s issues with West Virginia would be resolved.

The Mountaineers have said they will not honor the league’s 27-month exit agreement and join the Big 12 this fall. The Big 12 has forwarded its 2012 football schedule, with West Virginia on it, to its television partners. As of Thursday morning, however, the Big 12 still had yet to release its football schedule to the public.



Category: NCAAF
Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 9:15 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

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.
Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:50 am
 

C-USA contacts Temple; MWC merger changes weekly

After Memphis’ decision to leave for the Big East on Tuesday, Conference USA officials immediately contacted Temple to gauge the Owls’ interest in moving from the Mid-American Conference to C-USA, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

Temple thought it would receive the Big East’s invitation and was stunned the Big East invited Memphis. The Owls were former Big East members before getting dismissed from the league in 2004. Temple has been a member of the MAC since 2007 and in the past three seasons has a 26-12 record under former coach Al Golden and current coach Steve Addazio.

It’s unknown if the Owls would welcome a move to C-USA since there’s still the possibility the Big East could have more future openings if the Big 12 expands to 11 and takes Louisville. If that happens, Temple would be back on the Big East’s radar.

The future of Conference USA is also unknown. C-USA and the Mountain West are considering a merger or will dissolve the two leagues into one. With Memphis gone, will the leagues still combine or decide its better to go at it alone? One source said the possibility of the C-USA/MWC merger “changes weekly.”

If C-USA and the MWC did combine as an all-sports league it would consist of: Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from C-USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii from the MWC. Hawaii would be a football-only member, making a 15-team all-sports conference and a 16-team football conference, not including Temple.

The benefits of the combined league, sources say, would be stability, increased potential television revenue and the additional exposure across the country in new markets. They also would be able to conduct a conference championship game in football. C-USA currently has a championship game, the Mountain West doesn’t.

If the leagues decide to remain as they are could they survive with all of the defections? The Mountain West will be losing TCU, Boise State and San Diego State, while C-USA will lose Houston, UCF, SMU and Memphis. The television revenue for each league would not be as substantial.

As unwieldy as a 15- or 16-team all-sports league stretched across the country may seem, it still likely would provide more long-term stability – at least until one of the current BCS AQ conferences decides to expand again and the dominoes continue to trickle down to the MWC and C-USA.

So does Temple join forces with C-USA or hold out hope for a Big East invite? Does C-USA combine with the Mountain West? We’ll have to wait and see, but the fact that in 2013 seven of the Big East’s 11 football members are former C-USA members (Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida, Houston, Memphis, UCF and SMU) was not lost on one college football industry source.

“Perhaps the Big East can save time and take the rest of Conference USA’s teams,” quipped the source. “Then take C-USA’s name and divide the league into Red, White and Blue Divisions (as the league once had in the 1990s).”
 
 
 
 
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