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Category:NCAAF
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 11:16 am
 

K-State promotes Hayes to defensive coordinator

Kansas State secondary coach Tom Hayes has been promoted to defensive coordinator and former Washington assistant Mike Cox will coach K-State’s linebackers, sources told CBSSports.com.

Hayes replaces former defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, who left to become defensive coordinator at South Florida.

Hayes came to Kansas State last season from Tulane. He’s coached for 30 seasons, including seven in the NFL ranks, and previously had been a defensive coordinator at Stanford, UCLA, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Cox spent the past three seasons at Washington, where he coached linebackers. He also has coached two seasons in the NFL and was on staffs at Michigan State, Louisville, Utah State and Idaho.

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).”
Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:24 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 7:01 pm
 

Memphis heading to Big East in 2013

Memphis has accepted an offer to join the Big East Conference in all sports in 2013, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The Tigers will join the Big East with three other Conference USA members – Houston, SMU and UCF – for the 2013-14 school year. The Big East also will add Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members in 2013 and Navy in 2015.

Memphis will hold a press conference Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET in the Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame Assembly Room to officially announce the move to the Big East.

When contacted by CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish about the move to the Big East Monday, Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson declined comment.

While the addition of Memphis is for all sports, the Tigers' men's basketball program would help offset the future losses of men’s basketball powers Syracuse, West Virginia and Pittsburgh.

When Memphis joins the league, it’s unknown what the Big East’s football and basketball membership will consist of. That’s because West Virginia appears it will join the Big 12 this summer and will not honor the Big East’s 27-month exit requirement. However, both WVU and the Big East have filed lawsuits against each other and a Rhode Island judge ordered the parties into non-binding mediation with a deadline of Thursday.

If West Virginia is allowed to leave early, sources told CBSSports.com that Pittsburgh and Syracuse also would try to leave for the ACC but not until 2013. Although sources said it’s “technically not too late” for Pitt and Syracuse to join the ACC for the 2012 season, the two schools will remain in the Big East in 2012, but would likely negotiate to join the ACC in 2013, a year ahead of schedule.

On Friday, the ACC announced that Pitt would compete in the Coastal Division and Syracuse in the Atlantic Division when it joins the ACC.

ACC commissioner John Swofford would not speculate whether his league would help Pitt and Syracuse financially to leave the Big East before 2014, but told CBSSports.com “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 Pitt and Syracuse leave in 2013, then the Big East could be left with 11 football members – Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Boise State, San Diego State and Memphis. Also the league would have 17 basketball members: Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Memphis, Notre Dame, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova, Providence and DePaul.

Posted on: February 4, 2012 11:28 am
Edited on: February 4, 2012 11:59 am
 

More evidence WVU to Big 12? WVU cancels FSU game

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