Blog Entry

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

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

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

The Mountaineers will join the Big 12 for the 2012-13 school year. However, in a bizarre twist, sources told 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.

Since: Feb 9, 2012
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:44 am

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

You are correct that WVU has a sizeable fanbase in D.C./Northern Va. Few people realize that WV's eastern panhandle is about 60 miles from the White House and many folks who live in those counties commute to work in D.C. Several counties in the eastern panhandle are included in the Greater D.C. SMSA and media market which is one of the largest in the nation. When you travel the beltways around D.C., you see as many cars displaying WVU stickers as those with Md, UVA, and VT gear. Next season's out of conference game at FedEx with James Madison should be a sellout.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:48 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Shellback...nobody at WVU gives a flying turd about your, or the rest of the haters, opinions on this board.  We are happy to be going to the Big 12. Too bad for you and the rest of the hatefest bloggers on here that you're obsession with WVU drives you insane.

Just sayin.... 

Since: Dec 16, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 3:38 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Once the Big 12 is raided again and Oklahoma and Texas are gone, maybe West Virgini can create a new "Southern Conference"

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 3:36 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Going farther back in time, after the old Southern conference broke up and the ACC and SEC was created, WVU was considered by the ACC for membership.  Wake Forest cast the vote against West Virginia.  Wake was upset that WVU had gone to a bowl game the previous year.  ?  And WVU had been part of the old Southern conference.

Since: Oct 4, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 3:19 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Shellback= 83 percenter, Keep on doubting, we FEAST on it!

Since: Dec 16, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:59 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

@usbummer. If the Big XII was at 35 mil per school you would have every SEC school jumping on the Big XII train. The ACC and Big XII are both in the neighborhood of $16 mil. after the recent changes. Thats just for football.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:08 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

As for the part about losing two bowl games to weaker ACC teams, it is a fact.  But our coach then was BILL FRICKING STEWART.  The loss to Syracuse was a bad one.  I agree.  But it should be given no more weight than the 70-33 thrashing of nationally ranked Clemson.  Less actually, since it was the 7th game of the season, and Clemson was the 13th game of the season.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:02 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

shellback, you obviously know little about college football, if you think WVU will average 5-6 wins a year after they join the Big-12.  Wake up and smell the facts. Ask Oklahoma fans if they think WVU will be a cupcake on their schedule. Or check the power rankings placed on Big-12 teams for 2012 by conference writers.  I'll save you the trouble.  Returning 16 starters (17 actually) including the holder of basically every single season passing record in the history of the school, the Mountaineers are ranked #3 in the conference for 2012, behind Oklahoma and Kansas St.  ESPN Big-12 Power rankings 2012:

1. Oklahoma
2. KSU
3. WVU
4. OSU
5. TCU
6. Texas
7. Baylor
8. TTU
9. ISU
10. Kansas

Admittedly slots 2 through 7 could be interchangeable, but to say they won't be competitive is close-minded and ignorant of the facts.

Since: Feb 6, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:24 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

Apologies to any SEC fans---I got ahead of myself and typed SEC when I should have mentioned the ACC as the scrub conference. Of course, anyone with half a brain knew who I was referring to.

Since: Feb 6, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:22 pm

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

What a fool. 5-6 wins in the Big 12 next year? Whatever, mr. jealous. With all those seniors on offense, there is no way that WVU finishes with less than 8 or 9 next year. After that...well, there could be some leaner times, but perhaps you didn't watch that "anomaly" of an Orange Bowl? You're correct, it is an anomaly to put up 70 points in a BCS Bowl game, but hey---it was the SEC we played, so no real anomaly when you win big against that scrub conference. The other two BCS victories were closer, but we'll take being 3-0 in BCS Bowl games as compared to 1-5 like say the Virgina Tech CHOkies. Who cares about losing to FSU or NC State. We know how to win when it matters most, unlike the rest of the ACC which is 2-13. Go on thinking we're joining an "unstable" conference. The Big 12 is one of the top four, the ACC is not. I'll take being in a real conference any day over the Atlantic Choke Conference. Why don't you do like Buford and get a grip on your jealousy. Shouldn't you be excited about VT's recruitment instead of worrying about what's going on with WVU? Pathetically jealous, man!

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