Busy morning, fluid story but here is the WVU side of things. Not to be outdone, but to be beaten to the punch, the Big East’s counters and says it essentially fired the Mountaineers …
BIG EAST TERMINATES WEST VIRGINIA’S MEMBERSHIP
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The BIG EAST Conference Board of Directors has voted to terminate West Virginia University’s membership in the Conference, effective June 30, 2012.
This vote is conditioned on WVU fulfilling its obligations under a settlement agreement with the Conference that resolves the litigation between the parties.
“West Virginia University has acknowledged and agreed that the Court in Monongalia County, West Virginia, 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.” stated John Marinatto Commissioner of the BIG EAST Conference.
The Bylaws establish the circumstances by which a member may unilaterally withdraw from the Conference, which includes payment of an exit fee and a minimum of 27 months’ notice. The Bylaws also provide that the Conference may, by 3/4 vote, terminate the membership of any member and that is the process by which West Virginia University will depart as a member of The BIG EAST Conference.
In deciding to terminate West Virginia University’s membership, the Conference took into account the accusations that WVU asserted against the BIG EAST in the lawsuit that is now being dismissed. The Conference also took into account the steps that West Virginia University was willing to take to resolve the litigation, including the payment of an exit fee well in excess of that required by the Bylaws. In light of all of these factors, the BIG EAST Conference felt that it was in its best interest to terminate West Virginia University’s membership and conclude the litigation.
The BIG EAST Conference wishes the West Virginia University student-athletes success in their future athletic endeavors. With the recent addition of Boise State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, San Diego State University, Southern Methodist University, and the United States Naval Academy, the future for the BIG EAST Conference has never been brighter.
You’ll have a football schedule soon, too, I’m told. Shouldn’t be the one you’ve seen floating around the Internet. (Update: Here it is.)
As for the settlement: The Big East is getting $20 million. WVU pays $10 million … but it’s really $15 million. For a starting point, say it’s $10 million. The remaining $10 million will come from the Big 12. Half is a grant and half is basically a loan to be paid back by WVU out of its television revenue when it becomes a full-share member in 2015-16.
Part of WVU’s up-front payment will be leaving the Big East revenue earned in 2011-12 with the conference. That’s going to be somewhere around $7 million. I know what you’re saying: “So … we’re only paying $3 million? And we already paid $2.5 million. So we’re only paying $500,000?” Eh, not really. You’re still paying $10 million. Break it down and spin it and you can come up with different explanations, but $10 million is $10 million. You may get caught up on the Big East revenue you leave behind, but it’s still a hit. You’re not making that money. Put it this way: WVU will work for free in the Big East in 2011-12. And this is the athletic department that was in the red for about $1.3 million in 2010-11.
I’ll be back throughout the day.
12:49: Here’s the audio from Luck’s conference call. audio from Luck’s conference call. Not a whole lot in there because he can’t speak on certain things, but JackBo and I are mining details. Probably saving it for Web/print editions, though.
Also, here’s the early — and now semi-dates, since the schedule is out — Web version of the settlement story.
Of the $10 million the Big 12 is providing for its newest member, half of that will be a grant to WVU that will not need to be repaid. The other $5 million is in the form of a loan.
WVU will repay that loan at the rate of $1 million annually from its Big 12 revenue sharing from telecast contracts. So, rather than receiving an estimated $19 annually starting in 2015 (when WVU will be at a 100 percent revenue sharing level after three years of reduced payments), WVU will take $18 million.