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Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:24 pm
 

MAC reorganizes after Temple departure

Since 2007, the Mid-American Conference had somehow avoided the musical chairs that is better known as conference realignment.

That all changed on Wednesday when Temple officially announced it was leaving the MAC to join the Big East Conference.

The Owls had been football members of the MAC since 2007, but will join the Big East as an all sports member. Temple’s football team joins this fall, while its Olympic sports won’t join the Big East until the 2013-14 school year.

“I don’t think it was any secret they wanted to be in the Big East,” MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher told CBSSports.com . “But it took a lot of interesting circumstances in the last 12-16 months to set in motion what happened.”

What happened – at least this is the cliff notes version – is the Big East lost West Virginia and TCU to the Big 12 for this fall and Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC in either 2013 or 2014. The Big East was left with only seven football members and had to add Temple to have an eight-team conference this fall.

Temple and the MAC reached a $6 million settlement – more than double the $2.5 million required for a team providing at least two year’s notice. Temple also will pay the Atlantic 10 $1 million for removing its Olympic sports before the 2013-14 season.

With the loss of Temple the MAC moved Bowling Green from the MAC West to the MAC East. The MAC will have 13 football members this fall.

The seven-team East will consist of Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, UMass (which makes the move up from the FCS ranks), Miami (Ohio) and Ohio. The six-team West will consist of Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan.

Despite the loss of Temple, Steinbrecher said the MAC is not looking to immediately add another team.

“We’ll take a deep breath and watch and see whatever occurs and evolves [on the conference landscape] and make our decisions based on what’s best for the Mid-American Conference,” Steinbrecher said. “Our core membership is very solid.”

MAC teams will play eight game conference schedules this fall. The schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks, Steinbrecher said.


Posted on: March 7, 2012 10:38 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 7:23 pm
 

Big East adds Temple as an all sports member

Temple’s football program is returning to the Big East this fall, sources told CBSSports.com.

The Big East’s presidents voted Wednesday morning to add the Owls as all-sports members, but only Temple’s football program will join in 2012. The Owls’ Olympic sports won’t join the Big East until a year later for the 2013-14 school year.

The Big East officially announced Temple's move in a Wednesday press conference.

A source told CBSSports.com that the Big East will pay for the Owls' $7 million in exit fees. Temple must pay the Mid-American Conference $6 million and the Atlantic 10 $1 million.

Temple was an original member of the Big East’s football conference from 1991-2004 until it was dismissed from the league for not being competitive and unable to meet certain financial requirements.

The Big East already had received a commitment from Temple that the Owls would join the Big East in football in 2012, sources told CBSSports.com last week. But the Big East had its presidents formally rubberstamp it in Wednesday’s meeting in New York.

After Temple’s dismissal from the Big East, the Owls were an independent for two seasons before joining the Mid-American Conference in 2007. Temple will pay the MAC $6 million to leave with less than one year's notice. The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that amount, which is more than double what MAC by-laws require teams to pay ($2.5 million) with two year’s notice.

Temple also must pay the Atlantic 10, where its Olympic sports compete, $1 million to leave after next season. It would have cost $2 million to leave before this season.

The addition of Temple was crucial for the Big East which needed an eighth football program to replace West Virginia, which joins the Big 12 this summer. Without West Virginia, the Big East’s teams would have had only six conference games each. With Temple, each Big East team will have seven league games – as it has since 2005.

If the Owls take West Virginia’s place on the Big East schedule, the Owls will have Big East home games against Syracuse, Rutgers, Cincinnati and South Florida and league road games at UConn, Pittsburgh and Louisville. The Big East's football schedule should be released in the coming days.

The Big East initially wanted Boise State, which will join the league in 2013, to join the Big East in 2012. However, the Broncos could not afford to pay the approximate $10 million in exit fees to leave the Mountain West and WAC early and the Big East was not willing to pay for the Broncos’ early move, sources told CBSSports.com.

The addition of Temple, which shares its home stadium at Lincoln Financial Field with the Philadelphia Eagles, gives the Big East three teams that play their home games in an NFL stadium. The others are Pittsburgh/Pittsburgh Steelers and South Florida/Tampa Bay Bucs.

With Temple on board in 2012, the Big East’s football membership this fall will consist of Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse and Temple. The 15-team basketball membership in 2012-13 will consist of: Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova.

The reason Temple's Olympic sports didn't join the Big East until 2013 was for logistical reasons.

"We're using the current year as a transition year in order to analyze what we can by hiring a consultant to explore how we can best exploit the marketplace moving forward," Big East commissioner John Marinatto said. "And as I said earlier, to retain each school's individual identity, a brand that Villanova has worked on for over three decades with the Big East and how to incorporate and associate that with Temple.

"So for the next 12 months, what we're going to do is with the two institutions, the conference's initiative, explore how we best move forward in order to ensure that we accomplish that because it's in the best interest of the conference obviously for the two schools to coexist in a very, very positive way, and one of the things we want to do is ensure that's the case by doing this."

The league will look much different in the 2013-14 school year. The football league could consist of up to 14 schools: Boise State, Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Diego State, SMU, South Florida, Syracuse, Temple and UCF. However, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, who are scheduled to leave for the ACC in 2014, want to exit the Big East in 2013. If they do leave early, it would drop the football membership to 12 schools.

If Pittsburgh and Syracuse remain in the Big East until 2014, the Big East's basketball league in 2013-14 would consist of 20 teams: Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, SMU, Syracuse, Temple, UCF, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova. That number would be reduced to 18 basketball members if Pittsburgh and Syracuse left early.

Also, Navy will join the Big East as a football-only member in 2015.



Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:58 pm
 

Temple to Big East after it settles with MAC

Temple has given the Big East a verbal agreement it will join the league in 2012, but an official announcement can not be made until the Owls finalize their settlement to leave the Mid-American Conference, sources told CBSSports.com.

The Big East wants to make the announcement that Temple is joining by Monday so it won’t conflict with the Big East men’s basketball tournament, which starts Tuesday in New York. Whether it will happen that quickly depends on the Owls’ negotiations with the MAC.

The MAC’s exit fee is $2.5 million for schools that provide two years notice. However, there is no specific penalty for a school leaving with less than two years notice, a source told CBSSports.com. 

Temple was a Big East football-only member from 1991-2004 and the plan was for Temple to join the Big East in all sports in 2012. The Owls' football program competes in the MAC and their Olympic sports are in the Atlantic 10 Conference. To leave the Atlantic 10 with less than a year’s notice costs $2 million, a source said, while it’s $1 million if more than a year’s notice is given.

Because of the difference in exit fees Temple would pay the A-10, there remains a possibility Temple could join the Big East in football this fall, but its Olympic sports wouldn’t join the Big East until 2013. 

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and Big East commissioner John Marinatto declined comment.

The reason the Big East needs Temple in its football league this fall is to replace West Virginia, which left for the Big 12, on the conference schedule. Without West Virginia, the Big East would have only seven league members and six conference games. With Temple, it will have eight schools and seven league games. 

On Friday, Syracuse released its complete five-game non-conference schedule. The Big East has told league schools that they will play seven conference games, meaning an additional member would be added for this fall.

“The Big East has to assist us with that (seventh) conference game, whatever that is,” Syracuse said deputy athletic director Herman Frazier told the Syracuse Post-Standard. 

Frazier told the Post-Standard he expects the Big East to make an announcement in the next seven to 10 days.

However, it will happen much quicker if the Owls can hammer out a settlement with the MAC.

Temple’s Board of Trustees met on Wednesday to discuss the Owls’ “contracts,”  the Temple News reported.


Posted on: February 28, 2012 5:30 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 5:33 pm
 

Report: Temple to discuss Big East invite

Temple's Board of Trustees will meet via conference call Wednesday afternoon in which they could accept an invitation to become an all sports member of the Big East Conference, CSNPhilly.com reported.

Last week, CBSSports.com reported Temple would likely join the Big East in 2012 in all sports and an announcement could happen as early as this week.

Temple currently is a football member in the Mid-American Conference and the Owls' Olympic sports are members of the Atlantic 10. It would cost Temple $2 million to leave the Atlantic 10 with less than one year's notice and at least $2.5 million to leave the MAC, sources told CBSSports.com

"This (board meeting) is driven by the 2012 football schedule," Patrick J. O’Connor, Chairman of Temple’s Board of Trustees told CSNPhilly.com. "Because of that, decisions have to be made. There are time considerations."

That's because the Big East desperately needs a replacement for West Virginia on the 2012 football schedule. West Virginia agreed on a $20 million settlement with the Big East to leave for the Big 12, but the Big East was unwilling to pay Boise State's approximate $10 million in exit fees to leave the Mountain West and WAC a year early. Boise State was unable to pay that amount as well, so the Big East then turned its attention to Temple.

The Owls would give the Big East eight football members and 16 basketball members in 2012. School officials were miffed last month when the Big East extended an invitation to Memphis and not Temple. The Owls were Big East football members from 1991-2004 before being dismissed from the league for not being competitive and not meeting certain financial requirements.

"I think we were a natural choice to join the Big East months ago," O'Connor told CSNPhilly.com. "It baffles me that they let in some of the schools they did before Temple."
    
O'Connor added that Temple would only make the move to the Big East "if it (financially) is a net positive, we’ll do it. We’re not going to spend money to lose money.

"The Board’s job is to make a decision that impacts all of Temple’s students," O'Connor told CSNPhilly.com. "It will affect where we are (athletically) over the next five to 10 years. It’s a matter of where we want to be. We have two world-class coaches in football (Steve Addazio) and men’s basketball (Fran Dunphy) and they belong on a national stage."

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.”
 
 
 
 
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