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Updated: Rutgers, Syracuse could play twice if WVU bolts Big East

Oliver Luck, James Clements, Chuck Neinan AP

UPDATED 9:40 p.m. ET: With West Virginia apparently nearing a deal to move on to the Big 12 this year, the Big East would be left with just seven football teams, each of which would be forced to scramble to schedule another game.

Florida State feels your pain, y’all.

But one answer doesn’t require that much looking. Sources close to the situation told the Newark Star-Ledger that Rutgers and Syracuse could play twice in 2012 in a home-and-home series.

Obviously, Florida International wasn’t available twice for their annual game against the Scarlet Knights.


As we’ve been indicating over the past week, the Big East and West Virginia could be nearing a resolution to their dueling litigation that would allow WVU to join the Big 12 in time for this upcoming season.

While that’s far from confirmed, it sounds like it’s getting close.

Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports reports that WVU is nearing a buyout with the Big East worth… wait for it… at least $20 million that would “resolve all issues between both parties.

For what it’s worth, another buyout number, a significantly less $11 million, has been mentioned as well.

The Big East has been hard-headed about letting WVU leave the conference before the 27-month waiting period as mandated by the conference bylaws, which, it should be noted, WVU reaffirmed last October as part of a unanimous vote. On the contrary, WVU and the Big 12 have stated, almost as though a fact, that the Mountaineers will be participating in the Big 12 this season.

The reported $20 million buyout, if indeed the number settled upon, would be double the buyout the Big East agreed upon with the inclusion of Navy as a football-only member. Acting Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas told West Virginia MetroNews last week that the Big 12 might help WVU with the buyout if necessary.

McMurphy reports the buyout “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.”

A tweet from Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News said that Boise State was feeling pressure to join the Big East in 2012. Boise State’s president later said it would be “too late” for that.

Earlier today, the Big East announced that Memphis would be the newest all-sports member starting in 2013.

The Big East and WVU have been participating in non-binding mediation since last month. Coincidentally (not), a status conference is scheduled for tomorrow, Feb. 9. Last week, the Big 12 released its 2012 schedule to its TV partners out of requirement, but has yet to release those schedules publicly.

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15 Responses to “Updated: Rutgers, Syracuse could play twice if WVU bolts Big East”
  1. frug says: Feb 8, 2012 4:38 PM

    If this true then the Mountaineers should be quite happy. A&M is likely to pay that much and they didn’t violate a 27 month agreement. (The flip side is aTm is a wealthier athletic department, but still).

  2. uschawk says: Feb 8, 2012 4:40 PM

    I don’t get it. In the Big East they’d have a legit shot at a BCS bowl every year. I’m not too sure they can say the same in the Big 12. Add the money on top of that and it doesn’t seem like the smartest move to me.

  3. southyank7 says: Feb 8, 2012 4:56 PM

    well WVU has already sent $5m the day they announced they were accepted n2 Big12 plus there is that “Small amount” of what Big East has withheld from WVU from Bowl games big east tournaments & NCAA tournament profits & less everyone forget who started this whole mess
    ACC-Eat___PITT & Cuse

  4. thegamecocker says: Feb 8, 2012 5:58 PM


    Not so. The ACC didn’t start it at all. The Big East hierarchy is to blame here for not expanding it’s football schools and deciding if it wants to be a basketball conference or a football conference. I have no problem with either Pitt or Cuse leaving. The lesson is if you are weak and remain status quo, you’re going to be “eaten” a little bit at a time. I hope Rutgers leaves this hideous conference b/c it’s not at all selective who comes and who goes…..and I’m happy for W. Va. b/c they are making the correct decision to vacate before the whole thing blows up!

  5. pabstman says: Feb 8, 2012 6:21 PM

    11 million per the pitt post gazette.

  6. wvucolumbus says: Feb 8, 2012 7:06 PM

    Done deal. The number is 11 million.

  7. daiatlas says: Feb 8, 2012 7:11 PM

    Yeah, but the Post Gazette rarely knows what they are talking about.

  8. lonewolf330 says: Feb 8, 2012 7:37 PM

    none of it makes any sense to me but money is the root of all foolish and evil behavior in college sports thats just the way it works now

  9. mhalt99 says: Feb 8, 2012 8:17 PM

    thegamecocker says:

    I think southyank was referring to the initial raiding of the conference by the ACC and taking VaTech, Miami and BC while looking hard at Syracuse. It was a few years ago but that started the new round we are still in today. Also the 12 team conf champ game that I think actually goes back to the Big 12 ruling (not sure don’t feel like googling) – ACC saw the dollars and went for it.

    Your point about the b-ball identity is valid today and was valid then.

  10. frug says: Feb 8, 2012 11:50 PM


    It was the SEC who first started the CCG back in the early ’90’s after the league’s then commissioner Roy Kramer (according to legend at least) was reading the NCAA rule book one day and noticed a loophole that would let him set up a football championship (which he correctly predicted would be fairly lucrative) if he expanded the league to 12 teams.

    The Big XII followed suit a few years later after Texas pols. forced the league to take TTU and Baylor (originally the plan was just the Big 8 + UT and the Aggies).

  11. mhalt99 says: Feb 9, 2012 12:08 AM

    frug says:

    thanks for the correction.

  12. lbijake says: Feb 9, 2012 11:33 AM

    ACC just wanted to have the best bball conference so they raided the BE of bball schools. No one can think these schools will be relevant in football.

  13. deadeye says: Feb 9, 2012 12:39 PM

    “I don’t get it. In the Big East they’d have a legit shot at a BCS bowl every year.”


    The Big East has lost Miami, VT, BCU, Syracuse, and Pitt. Waiting in the wings to bolt the conference is UCONN and Rutgers. Why would WVU want to stay in a conference that is teatering on the brink of annihilation? At least the BIG12 will be around a couple of years longer than the Big East.

  14. thegamecocker says: Feb 9, 2012 1:38 PM

    I am happy for W Va in leaving the Big Least for the Big 12. I do have some concerns though given the amount of money being bantied about. If W. Va forfeits $20 Mil and the Big 12 folds like a cheap suit, then was the investment worth it? I don’t have the answer to that and I guess we will see b/c they are definitely leaving. Now, why is Chuck Neinas leaving the Commissioner position so soon? This concerns me as he appears to be the reason the Big 12 decided to remain intact, or so it seemed. He has provided strong direction and leadership so why is he departing?

  15. frozenfie101 says: Feb 9, 2012 5:33 PM

    Why rip FIU? Not cool.

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