Posted on: February 4, 2012 11:28 am
Edited on: February 4, 2012 11:59 am
If you're looking for more evidence West Virginia is likely headed to the Big 12 this fall, the Mountaineers canceled their Sept. 8 game at Florida State, sources told CBSSports.com.
West Virginia originally had its 2012 schedule formatted for eight conference games as a Big East member - that's before TCU's decision to join the Big 12. But if the Mountaineers join the Big 12 this fall, they will have nine conference games and had to drop one contest.
Florida State released a statement Saturday morning confirming West Virginia's decision.
"We were informed in writing late Friday afternoon of West Virginia University’s intention to cancel its 2012 football game with Florida State University scheduled for Sept. 8 in Tallahassee," Florida State AD Randy Spetman said. "We are disappointed for our coaches, players and fans that this game will not take place as originally scheduled.
"We now face the challenge of completing our 2012 schedule just seven months before the start of the season. We will work quickly and diligently to fill the hole on our schedule and will communicate with our season ticket holders and fans as the process moves forward."
The Mountaineers must pay Florida State at least $500,000 because they cancelled the game less than 12 months before kickoff, The Orlando Sentinel reported.
Florida State's best option to replace West Virginia is one of the remaining seven Big East teams, all of which will need at least one game if WVU leaves for the Big 12. The most likely candidates to replace WVU on Florida State's schedule would be future ACC members Pitt or Syracuse.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:36 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 4:37 pm
Pittsburgh and Syracuse may not be leaving the Big East for the ACC for another two years, but the Panthers and Orange know now which ACC divisions they’ll be in. Pittsburgh will compete in the ACC’s Coastal Division, while Syracuse will be in the ACC’s Atlantic Division, the ACC’s athletic directors voted Friday.
The ACC also voted to increase its league football schedule from eight to nine conference games when the Panthers and Orange come on board.
Pittsburgh and Syracuse aren’t scheduled to join the ACC until July 1, 2014. However, that timetable could get moved up depending on if West Virginia is allowed to leave the Big East early for the Big 12. West Virginia is trying to join the Big 12 this fall, while the Big East is trying to make the Mountaineers honor the league’s exit agreement and stay until June 30, 2014.
Pittsburgh and Syracuse have not indicated they would pursue legal action, like West Virginia has, to leave the Big East before 2014, but sources told CBSSports.com that both schools are monitoring West Virginia’s situation and would try to join the ACC early if the Mountaineers are able to leave before 2014.
ACC commissioner John Swofford wouldn’t speculate on Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the ACC before 2014. “First of all, (that decision) is between Pitt and Syracuse and the Big East,” Swofford said.
However, if the Panthers and Orange can leave before 2014, the ACC will be ready.
“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.”
If West Virginia leaves the Big East before 2014, it will likely have to pay a substantial financial penalty to the Big East. Swofford would not speculate whether the ACC would assist Pitt and Syracuse financially to assist them if they were able to leave the Big East early.
The ACC is expected to announce its 2012 football schedule in the next two weeks, so even if WVU and the Big East settles in the coming days it's unlikely Pitt and Syracuse would be able to join for the 2012-13 school year. Before the 2013 season is a more realisitic possibility.
Whenever they do get to the ACC, Pittsburgh will join Miami, Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Coastal Division. Syracuse will join Clemson, Florida State, N.C. State, Boston College, Maryland and Wake Forest in the Atlantic.
The current primary crossover partners will remain consistent with Syracuse and Pitt becoming primary crossover partners with each other.
When Pitt and Syracuse join the ACC, the league will play a nine-game conference football schedule. The format will consist of each team playing all six in its division each year, plus its primary crossover partner each year and two rotating opponents from the opposite division.
“We’ve been evaluating (eight or nine-game league schedules) since back in the fall,” Swofford said. “We want to see and play each other as much as reasonably possible.”
Swofford also said that adding conference television inventory (more ACC games) also was beneficial.
This six-year cycle allows each team to play each divisional opponent and its primary crossover partner six times (three home and three away) while also playing each rotating crossover opponent two times (one home and one away).
In basketball, the ACC will play an 18-game conference schedule beginning in the 2012-13 school year.
After Pitt and Syracuse join, each school will have one primary partner (Boston College and Syracuse; Clemson and Georgia Tech; Duke and North Carolina; Florida State and Miami; Maryland and Pitt; N.C. State and Wake Forest; Virginia and Virginia Tech).
The scheduling model will be based on a three-year cycle during which teams will play every league opponent at least once with the primary partners playing home and away annually while the other 12 rotate in groups of four: one year both home and away; one year at home only; and one year away only. Over the course of the three-year cycle primary partners play a total of six times and all other conference opponents play four times.
The format allows each program to see opponents with more regularity and creates an increase in competitive balance throughout the teams.
The league also determined that all 14 league members will qualify for the ACC men's and women’s basketball tournaments. However, how the tournaments will be formatted will be announced at a later date.
Posted on: January 23, 2012 8:49 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 4:53 pm
In December, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told CBSSports.com Navy would be joining the Big East as a football-only member but wasn’t sure when.
The Midshipmen have made that decision.
On Tuesday, Navy will announce it is joining the Big East as a football-only member in 2015, sources told CBSSports.com. After more than 130 years playing as an independent, the Midshipmen will join a conference.
In 2013, the Big East is adding Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and UCF, Houston and SMU as all sports members, but Gladchuk previously said it was unlikely Navy could solve a myriad of its scheduling problems and television contracts in that short of time. Navy has games scheduled through 2017 and television contracts with CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports (Navy-Army game) through 2018, Gladchuk said.
“We’re breaking away from a lifelong commitment as an independent and we have a better television deal than a lot of conferences,” Gladchuk told CBSSports.com last month. “We can’t do that without a mutual understanding with the Big East. The good news is [Big East commissioner] John [Marinatto] has been receptive of talking this though.”
With the addition of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, UCF, SMU and Navy and the departures of West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the Big East will have at least 11 football members when Navy comes on board in 2015.
Marinatto has said repeatedly the league is seeking a 12-team football league and there’s a possibility the league could add another football member by the 2013 season, sources said.
“We’re bringing some sizzle to the steak,” Gladchuk said last month about Navy’s move to the Big East. “That’s why we’re excited about the possibility of the Big East and the Big East is excited about us. We (Navy and the Big East) would both like to get to the goal line.”
Air Force and Army also have been targeted by the Big East, but Air Force said it will remain in the Mountain West and Army wants to remain an independent. Gladchuk said the decisions by Air Force and Army not to join the Big East would not have any impact on Navy’s decision.
“The thinking from Colorado Springs is fully removed from Annapolis – there are no tentacles attached,” Gladchuk said. “We’ll make our decision based on what’s best for us.”
Gladchuk has said the league’s stability was important before the Midshipmen would join. The Big East currently is one of the lucrative six automatic qualifying BCS conferences, but there is a possibility the AQ BCS status may not exist when the new BCS cycle begins in 2014.
Gladchuk said last month that was something Navy would consider.
With Navy headed to the Big East in 2015, there remains no definitive answer how long West Virginia will remain in the league. West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh are all bound by the conference bylaw requiring 27 months notice, the Big East claims.
However, West Virginia has filed a lawsuit to leave and join the Big 12 in 2012, while the Big East also has filed a lawsuit to keep West Virginia from leaving early. Mountaineers athletic director Oliver Luck told CBSSports.com last month WVU still plans to join the Big 12 next season.
A Rhode Island judge has ordered the league and West Virginia into non-binding mediation to try and resolve the lawsuits.
Pittsburgh and Syracuse are scheduled to join the ACC on July 1, 2014 and have given no indication the two schools would not honor the 27-month notice.
Navy’s announcement Tuesday that it will join the Big East also will increase the Big East’s exit fees from $5 million to $10 million if any other current teams leave the league. WVU, Pitt, Syracuse and TCU all had to pay a $5 million exit fee.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 1:54 pm
NEW YORK – Notre Dame to the ACC? Notre Dame to the Big Ten? How about Notre Dame to the Big 12 or SEC?
It’s not going to happen, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Thursday.
The Irish plan to remain an independent in football and are confident with the future of the Big East after the league introduced five new members Wednesday. The majority of Notre Dame’s non-football schools compete in the Big East, which allows Notre Dame to be an independent in football.
However, there had been some speculation that because of the league's uncertainty, Notre Dame might be forced to join another conference in football.
“We’re thrilled with the announcement of the Big East’s new members and we think it delivers on the (league’s) stability,” Swarbrick told CBSSports.com. “It’s great news for the Big East and it’s a great home for us for most of our sports.”
The Big East announced Wednesday Boise State and San Diego State would join the league in football-only in 2013 and add Houston, UCF and SMU in all sports. By the Big East remaining together, it allows Notre Dame to compete as a Big East member in virtually all sports but football, while remaining a football independent.
“Father (John) Jenkins was trying to provide leadership to help the Big East navigate through this period of time,” Swarbrick said of Notre Dame’s president. “We welcome the new Big East members and we think it speaks to the future vitality and stability of the Big East.”
With the addition of Houston, UCF and SMU in 2013 and if West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse remain in the league until June 30, 2014 as scheduled, that means during the 2013-14 school year the Big East would have at least 19 basketball members.
“It doesn’t scare me,” Swarbrick said. “You could figure out a way to set up the schedule. The amount of time they’ve spent determining how many teams will play in the Big East tournament is another story. I think it’s manageable.”
Swarbrick said he would defer to the conference whether West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse should be allowed to leave a year early in 2013 when the new members are added.
The biggest question Swarbrick said he gets from the media and when he travels around the country at speaking engagements is whether the Irish will remain an independent in football.
He estimated he speaks each year at between 80-100 Notre Dame clubs or fundraisers in association with a Fighting Irish game.
“You can’t do a Q/A without one of those (questions about if Notre Dame is joining a conference),” Swarbrick said. “They (Notre Dame’s fan base) are pretty clear: they want status quo and national championships.
“It’s easy,” he joked.
Status quo as a football independent and national championships.
“But not in that order, that’s exactly right,” Swarbrick said.
Posted on: December 7, 2011 7:38 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 7:43 pm
NEW YORK – First things first: the Big East Conference, stretching four time zones from the East Coast to the West Coast, is not undergoing a name change.
It will remain the Big East.
It will, however, look much, much different.
On Wednesday, the league announced that Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF would join the league in 2013. Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sport members.
And even with the addition of those five schools, Big East commissioner John Marinatto said the league has no plans to allow West Virginia (to the Big 12) and Syracuse and Pittsburgh (to the ACC) to leave before June 30, 2014, as required by conference by-laws.
“The additions that we're making today have no impact whatsoever in regard to our commitment and our belief that our schools that are leaving would fulfill the 27‑month requirement clause that's currently in our bylaws,” Marinatto said. “The bylaws are the bylaws are the bylaws. They represent the agreements between the conference schools. I think there's an understanding amongst all of our schools that an early departure and a violation of those bylaws would do damage to the schools that are remaining. As a result, two of our schools have indicated that they respect that process and they understand it.”
Those two schools are Syracuse and Pittsburgh. West Virginia, however, has filed a lawsuit to join the Big 12 next season. The Big East also has filed a lawsuit to make West Virginia honor the exit agreement until 2014.
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told CBSSports.com Wednesday that even if the league compromised and allowed the Mountaineers to leave a year early in 2013, their plans are still to join the Big 12 next season.
“That doesn’t change,” Luck told CBSSports.com.
Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said his school is prepared to honor the 27-month exit agreement, but told CBSSports.com “we’re just open to seeing what happens.”
“They’re starting to put together what the new Big East will look like,” Gross said. “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.”
Marinatto said that was not the case. So if West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse must remain in the league through June 30, 2014, that means the Big East in 2013 would consist of at least 13 teams in football and 19 schools in basketball.
Officials at Air Force, which was a target of the Big East as a football-only member, told the Gazette Wednesday, that it would remain in the Mountain West. Navy, however, remains a viable target, but won’t make any decisions this week that would take attention away from Saturday’s Army-Navy game.
The new Big East is certainly bigger than any conference out there. It’s got a bigger footprint than even Bigfoot.
“We've envisioned the premise that we could theoretically on any given Saturday have four kickoffs that don't compete with each other,” Marinatto said. “We think, as I mentioned earlier, that's a very powerful model as we move forward in our upcoming TV negotiations.”
Those will begin in 2012. The Big East first must give ESPN the first opportunity as its currents rights holder and if they don’t reach a deal by November 2012 then the Big East could negotiate with other networks such as Fox or NBC/Comcast.
NCAA President Mark Emmert, without specially mentioning the Big East, discussed schools leaving non-automatic BCS qualifying conferences (such as Boise State, Houston, San Diego State, UCF and SMU) for an automatic qualifying BCS conference such as the Big East.
“There’s a lot of motivation’s going on (with expansion), clearly the BCS automatic qualifying position is driving a lot of this,” Emmert said at the IMG Forum at the Marriott Marquis. “Nobody wants to lose their AQ rights in the BCS and, of course, one of the ironies is the BCS is going to be refined again (in 2014).”
And if there remains BCS AQ conferences at that time, the Big East feels strongly it will remain one.
“Part of our objectives in expansion was to create the best conference we could both on the football side as well as other sports,” Marinatto said. “We recognize obviously the departure of the schools leaving the conference affected us. But we always felt confident that if we made the right moves, we would keep our BCS AQ status and we've done that.”
Posted on: November 3, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 5:13 pm
Boise State will not be a BCS buster much longer.
On Thursday, the Idaho State Board of Education gave Boise State President Bob Kustra authorization to join the Big East as football-only member.
The Big East is one of six automatic qualifying BCS leagues and is guaranteed its BCS status through the 2013 season. Boise State has not received an "official invitation" yet, but would join the Big East on July 1, 2013.
The addition of Boise State would be huge for the Big East, which is trying to restock its league after Pittsburgh, Syracuse, TCU and West Virginia announced they would be leaving the league for the ACC or Big 12 conferences.
Boise State submitted a motion to its State Board of Education Thursday to “change conference affiliation for its intercollegiate athletics teams” and leave the Mountain West. It was passed by the board, 7-1, Thursday afternoon. The school likely won't finalize a move to the Big East until it can secure a home for its Olympic sports.
As reported by CBSSports.com on Tuesday, lawyers from Boise State, UCF, Houston and SMU have been working together the past two weeks in negotiations with the Big East and plan to have all four introduced together as new members. Sources told CBSSports.com this could occur as early as Friday, but Kustra told the state's Board of Education a move may not occur until next week.
Although no official invitation from the Big East has been extended, Big East commissioner John Marinatto has had numerous conversations with representatives from all four schools – plus Navy and Air Force – in the past weeks.
“The University anticipates an offer is imminent and is requesting Board approval to proceed in the best interests of the University should an offer be extended,” the school presented in an agenda item to the Board of Education.
According to Boise State, “The Big East plans to adopt a 12 team football conference with an East and West Division. The two division alignment allows the addition of a championship game at the end of the season. A conference championship game is expected to also add value to the media rights of the conference.”
"Being in a BCS conference is absolutely critical," Kustra told the board.
Kustra also said that by Boise State providing more than a year's notice to leave the Mountain West, the school would not have to pay a $5 million exit fee.
CBSSports.com has reported the league likely would be divided this way – West: Boise State, Houston, SMU, Louisville, Air Force and BYU (if the Cougars opt to join) and East: Cincinnati, Navy, UConn, South Florida, UCF and Rutgers.
Besides Boise State, sources told CBSSports.com that Houston, UCF, SMU and Navy are committed to joinig the Big East and only awaiting an official invitation. Sources said they expect Air Force to also join after those five schools have officially been added to the Big East.
Any new Big East members would not join the league until July 1, 2013.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 9:59 am
West Virginia is filing suit against the Big East Conference so it can join the Big 12 next season, according to a document obtained by CBSSports.com.
The Big East requires its members to pay $5 million and provide 27 months notice before it may leave the conference. However, on Friday when West Virginia accepted an invitation to join the Big 12, WVU and Big 12 officials both indicated the Mountaineers would begin play in the Big 12 in 2012-13.
In an e-mail to the league’s presidents Monday, Big East commissioner John Marinatto wrote that “we have been advised by West Virginia league council that the University is filing suit against the Big East Conference today (Monday) – presumably to get relief from the withdrawal provision contained in our bylaws.”
The Big East has a 27-month notification period to leave and Marinatto has said multiple times Pittsburgh and Syracuse can’t leave for the ACC until June 1, 2014. Other league sources have said the Big East has no plans of letting West Virginia leave the league before June 1, 2014 and were surprised the Mountaineers announced they were joining the Big 12 in 2012. TCU had to pay $5 million, but was not required to provide 27 months notice because it left for the Big 12 before it actually began play in the Big East.
"We've been a good member of the Big East for a long time," President James Clements told reporters on Friday. "Our University is in discussions with the conference office."
Clements said West Virginia has already paid $2.5 million of the $5 million exit fee required to the Big East. He added the remaining amount would be paid on June 30, 2012 – on what the Mountaineers believe will be their final day in the Big East.
The Big East’s presidents and chancellors will meet in Philadelphia Tuesday. They are expected to formalize plans to add as many as six schools – Boise State, Navy, Air Force, SMU, Houston and UCF. No schools have received “official invitations” yet, but all have had multiple discussions with Marinatto in recent weeks about joining the league.
Last month, Marinatto said that if the Big East grew to 12 football schools, the league still would make Pitt and Syracuse honor the 27-month requirement "even if it meant a 14-team Big East" in 2013. That philosophy hasn't changed, league sources said, which could possibly mean a 15-team Big East, including West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, in 2013.
Posted on: October 12, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 9:39 pm
The Big East’s presidents and chancellors discussed but did not approve a proposal that would have increased the league’s exit fee to between about $12 million and $15 million, up to three times the current amount, during the league’s Oct. 2 meeting, according to league documents obtained by CBSSports.com.
Give commissioner John Marinatto credit; at least he tried to make it tougher for teams to leave the league.
The proposed new exit amount was for the greater amount of $5 million or “150 percent of the gross revenues received by a departing team in its final year in the league.” Those revenues vary by school but are estimated between $8 million and $10 million annually for the football members.
The league’s current withdrawal fee is $5 million, with 27 months notice required.
In the Oct. 2 meeting, the league’s presidents and chancellors also were scheduled to continue dialogue about “potential legal strategies in the wake of the departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse.”
The refusal of the presidents and chancellors to increase the exit fee is another challenge to the league trying to survive the departure of TCU, Pittsburgh and Syracuse and with the possibility of other members leaving to other conferences.
Four days before the Oct. 2 meeting, Marinatto sent an email to league presidents and chancellors.
In the email, obtained by CBSSports.com, Marinatto wrote:
“The Big East’s media rights outlook remains optimistic as the Conference continues to be a vital and attractive media rights property heading into our scheduled September 2012 ESPN discussions. Further, we will provide you with an updated report on our BCS automatic qualifying status, arguably our single most valuable asset – which, with the help of the addition of TCU, continues to place us in a solid position for the upcoming cycle.”
Four days after the Oct. 2 meeting at Georgetown, TCU received an invitation to the Big 12 and notified the Big East it likely would accept the invitation. TCU officially was accepted into the Big 12 on Monday.
Marinatto’s email also touched on the league’s uncertain future. He wrote:
“The most important issue for us to focus on, however, is the future of the Conference and specifically how we can stabilize our situation in order to convey a level of comfort and security to any potential new members and provide them some assurances about their future with us. Toward this end and per our football school discussion (Sept. 21) in New York City, we have added a new agenda item to discuss a proposed bylaw amendment in the form of the attached regarding our current withdrawal clause.”
It's unknown if the proposed new exit agreement also would require 27 months notice.
Marinatto’s email also to league leaders indicated that the Big East "will also be prepared to discuss potential legal strategies in the wake of the departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse."