My colleague at the Daily Mail held the rope in a way that would make The Product smile and nailed the ins and outs of WVU’s move out of the Big East and into the Big 12 today.
If WVU has its way, and it’s going to try its damndest to have its way, the athletic teams will play in the Big 12 beginning next season.
WVU Board of Governors chairman Drew Payne confirmed Friday the university will be out of the conference by next July.
“We’ve resigned as of June, 30, 2012, and we’re accepted (in the Big 12) as of July 1, 2012,” Payne said Friday afternoon.
Payne said the departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse changed the dynamic of the conference, undermining its viability.
He said that caused Texas Christian University, which was set to join the Big East next year, to withdraw its decision to join the Big East and head instead to the Big 12.
And that led to WVU, Louisville and the University of Connecticut to react and begin publicly displaying desire to head somewhere else as well.
“With everyone who’s left and who wants to leave, it’s not a viable football conference anymore,” Payne said. “It’s not what we were a part of as early as this year.”
A few other notes, including one we’re going to have to keep an eye on, after the jump.
- WVU has already sent $2.5 million of the $5 million exit fee to the Big East. Payne said the rest should be in the Big East’s pockets by the end of the fiscal year (June 30). That’s a strong and chivalrous gesture toward conducting the departure the right way, which matters if you’re trying to get out early.
- Shame on the Big East for not adding anyone some time after the “unanimous” agreement to raise the exit fee upon someone’s arrival. It took Wednesday’s unexpected pause to see some real aggressive move toward an addition, and no one in their right mind was going to join at that point.
- Maybe that “unanimous” vote was ceremonial and a show of solidarity, but it was hollow. And it was grandstanding on a level with Bill Stewart parading around with his tri-Big East Champion T-shirt while fully aware he was on his way out at WVU. No one likes to be spat upon and be told its raining.
- Beer sales … WVU is probably OK to continue the practice. I’m told it never came up in discussions. That could mean a few things. Could be a case where one side understood the other’s position — that is, WVU knew the Big 12 had a ban and was OK with it, or that the Big 12 knew WVU sold beer and was OK with it — and wasn’t going to allow it to derail the deal.
But Colorado sold beer when it was a mamber. As I’m being told, the Big 12 has no bylaw against it. It just has schools that choose not to sell beer. Who knew WVU would be a maverick among all those cowboys?
- Now this is interesting. Safe to say a lot of people are curious how long Dana Holgorsen stays at WVU. I think it’s unfair to be having those conversations already, but people still wonder, and here, where coaches have, throughout football history, wandered, I can understand that. And given Dana’s ties to the Big 12, you might have worried about a return there or a reunion at Texas Tech or Oklahoma State.
But WVU had a clause in contracts for both Rich Rodriguez and Stewart that forbade them from taking a job at a Big East school. Rodriguez just wasn’t allowed. Stewart was prevented for 18 months. Dana’s contract isn’t done. The “Covenant Not To Compete” clause is standard and I’d have to think Dana’s contract will have one and now with a Big 12 prohibition.