Blog Entry

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

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

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, 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."


Since: Feb 4, 2011
Posted on: October 16, 2011 3:03 am

Pay your taxes jerks

It disgusts me that these jerks pay ZERO taxes

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: October 14, 2011 10:27 pm

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

Is there a reason why the Big East decided to vote against higher exit fees? 

It's like the Big East wants to fall apart or something by allowing its members to leave so easily.  

Since: Feb 20, 2010
Posted on: October 14, 2011 5:11 pm

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

Let me try and settle the argument pertaining to Penn St and the Big East. Penn St. was seeking a conference in 1982. The BE basketball schools got together to vote on extending an invite to Penn St. The vote was 5-3, not getting enough to invite the Nittany Lions into the BE.

In an 2009 interview, outgoing BE commish Mike Tranghese was asked about the inability of the BE to add Penn St. (at the time he was a staffer working for the BE) and he said this:

"I look back on the 30 years, and we made one major mistake: We had a chance to add Penn St. in 1982, and we didn't... Dave wanted to go to Penn St. and extend the invitation. But he couldn't if we didn't have the votes. And we had eight teams and needed six votes and it was a 5-3 vote."

The BE commish who was there when it happened is as reliable source as it gets. If you want to check out the interview, here's the website:

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: October 14, 2011 11:31 am

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

Goat - Temple is not in the big east, and you forgot about Villanova and some others.  Also, why do you think ND would leave?  They have no reason to and the bball schools wouldn't kick them out either - they are all catholic schools just like ND.  When it all shakes down I think the bball schools will add other catholic schools with good bball programs (like Xavier for example) and not miss a beat.

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: October 14, 2011 8:02 am

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

For all you supporters of the b-ball only schools kicking us football schools out, let's think about something here. Who are the best basketball schools in the league, ah yes, outside of G'town its Pitt (gone), Syracuse (gone), UCONN (plays football), Louisville (plays football), WVU (plays football), Cincy (plays football), ND (plays indy football and will leave you guys in the dust).

So have fun with your conference of G'town, St. John's, Marquette, Xavier, Dayton, URI, Temple (plays football btw), and the rest of the crap b-ball schools. A good conf. no doubt, but nowhere near the best. Hell, we could break off add Memphis and steall Temple and have a better b-ball league. So I'm WVU fan, kick us out, but I see as more like we're leaving you, not vice versa.

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:13 pm

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

Van you got it all wrong, I don't support bball only schools, I'm a WVU fan (probably the school that stands to lose the most in this whole mess) - the football schools could have pulled away at anytime and chose not to.  Everyone thought if they kept the bball at a high level and even imporved it they could use that as leverage in getting a better TV deal for the conference as a whole - hence the addition of Marquette and DePaul at the same time as Louisville, SFla, and Cincy.  I wish they would have broken it up a long time ago, I knew back in 2003 they were making a mistake by not pulling out and forming a 12 team all sport conference rather than adding 3 new football teams and maintaining the status quo.  The writing was clearly on the wall back then all the other conferences were basically saying go big or go home.  The big east decided to go big but with bball and not football and now it has cost them dearly, and it wasn't strictly the bball schools behind that move.  EVERYONE agreed that bball would be key in helping football make it through the inevetable down turn with the departure of Miami, Va Tech, and BC.  I was trying to point out that the belief that bball schools were dictating to the football schools is false.  Miami left in 2003 for 2 reasons - the main reason - the ACC offered more guaranteed money. When Miami left the BE champ got something like $16 mill, if you weren't the champ you made something like $12 mill.  The ACC offered Miami around $14 mill per year guaranteed.  They knew their days of being the dominant conference champ were coming to an end so they jumped ship - and they were right, if I'm not mistaken they haven't won a single ACC championship yet.  Secondary reason -  the ND situation.  The league never should have allowed ND in the way they did, but that was all the way back in the early 90s.  The BE assumed it was only a matter of time before ND joined as a full member.  Around 1996 NBC renewed it's contract with ND for 12 seasons or something like that.  It was clear to some but not all then that there was almost no chance of ND joining full time but no one wanted to rock the boat.  ND promised to play 1 or 2 BE teams per year whcih gave them more TV exposure, and ND filled the stadiums of those teams when they came to play.  (BTW I'm not sure what happended to that promise to play a couple BE schoools every year but they don't do it anymore)  Once Miami left they would have lost the AQ BCS bid had it kicked out ND so it was basically stuck with them no matter what at that point.  I think the league still could have survived had it aggressively added more schools but it would have had to keep the special BCS deal with ND for at least the time being.  

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 1:36 pm

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

Can you imagine how well it will work if the Big East takes some "football-only" members to add to it's "all-sports" and "basktetball-only" members? Not even thinking about the quality of the football league, this would be a disaster.

I realize the BSC now drives even basketball but it would be nice to see if the Big East Football teams went away for the basketball schools to grab some of the solid programs left- Xavier, Dayton, Butler, Umass, Temple and make a go of it. I may be dreaming but I think the Northeast is big enough in hoops to make this work.

Since: Jan 19, 2010
Posted on: October 13, 2011 1:11 pm

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

Spoken squarely by a BB only supporter. Are you are right about one thing only...
I think that is why BE football will ultimatley fall apart now.

What you are forgetting is the roadblock to getting football programs in the BE was looking for football only members. Also, it was 2 BB schools, ND, and RU (who clearly have there own deal in the works) who turned down a 1.2 billion dollar TV rights deal. No the BE is a concubine type relationship between ND, BB ONLY schools and Full members which could really never be good for all, and hence doomed to eventual failure. I can't wait to be in a league (ACC) that is all in, and equal. Yes, they have their faults, but at least they all have the same interests.  

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 12:30 pm

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

Here here Jo,  and let's also not forget that there is and always has been a difference between BE basketball and football.  Even if all the FB schools leave BE basketball will at worst be just as good as the ACC currently is.  In the end it was a combination of factors that did in BE football.  A perfect storm of missed opportunities on and off the field.  If more schools had stepped up and gained or regained national respect this wouldn't be happening right now (I'm talking to you Pitt and Syracuse) and the leadership took the wrong approach and couldn't read the writing on the wall.  While the ACC leadership plotted how to cut the throat of the BE conference, it's leaders were pondering the immortal words of Rodney King - "can't we all just get along?"  To use an old sports cliche while the ACC brass was trying to win at all costs, the BE chiefs were trying not to lose.  I think that is why BE football will ultimatley fall apart now.  After seeing the leadership get caught with their pants down twice now, how can they ever trust that leadership again?  I think you also have to blame ESPN for playing dirty pool after the BE rejected ESPN's TV deal last year.  As far as the league being the "Big Least" let's not forget that the BE is the conference where Miami won 2 national championships and big nfl names like Vick, McNabb, Rice, Fitzgerald (to name a few) all called home at one time.

One more note - you can't blame this on the bball schools.  They never once denied the football schools anything they asked for or ever made any unreasonable demands of them.  The majority of the blame lies squarely on poor leadership from the front office and the a football schools as a whole not earning respect on the field.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:45 am

Big East CEOs refused to increase exit fees

A lot of good points being made about the management and mis-management of the Big East.  Notre Dame and how they were given special treatment is a big part of it.  It is clear the Big East "leadership" has been reactive and not pro-active.  It didn't learn from the first raid. There have been scares since the Miami/BC raid that other schools were thinking of leaving.  And now Pitt and Cuse are leaving, and TCU backed out.  It's probably too late to "save" the football conference.  What I fail to understand is the nit wits on here who feel attacking the fans of Big East schools with comments about the "Bif Least" etc. accomplishes anything.  The fans had nothing to do with it other than having a passion for their particular team. I think you geniuses who want to slam BE fans would find most of us wanted our school out, or ND to be forced in.  Unfortunately, the fans have no say in that. You should count yourselves fortunate that your league had better leadership.  It doesn't make you as a fan better than any other conferences fans.  If you think that's the case, then you need some help.  

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