When Colorado announced back in June it was leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-10, it was uncertain whether the Buffaloes would make the conference switch in 2011 or 2012, although most reports out of the area seemed to lean toward the latter.
A month and a half later, there is still no specific timeline for their departure. However, a decision could be coming sooner rather than later on the timing issue.
Speaking at his conference’s media days, commissioner Dan Beebe seemed hopeful that the two sides could finalize a deal before the start of the 2010 season, and that it “makes the most sense” for CU to leave — along with Nebraska — in time for the 2011 season.
“I think all of us have that interest,” Beebe said when asked about CU leaving a year earlier than originally planned. “We just have to make sure we’ve got everything solidified in terms of all the issues.
“Everybody has been tremendous in terms of working together. There has been a very, very strong expression by our board and our athletics directors about ensuring that these relationships are treated well and that both institutions that are departing are treated with the utmost respect. That’s been demonstrated in what we’ve carried out so far.”
Of course, the key issue as far as the timing in CU’s departure is money. Some reports have the penalty for leaving in time for the ’11 season pegged at $20 million, although sources have told the Boulder Daily Camera that the the total cost to CU in lost revenues would come in somewhere between $9 and $14 million.
It would be more than a mild surprise if the haggling over a price for departure didn’t result in a breakthrough in the near future, an agreement that would send Colorado to the Pac-10 next year.