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FSU says it could lose at least $2.5 million on lost WVU game

Ej Manuel AP

When West Virginia cancelled its 2012 non-conference game against Florida State in anticipation of departing the Big East for the Big 12, FSU athletic director, Randy Spetman, told the Orlando Sentinel the move could result in litigation against WVU because the withdrawal was so close to the upcoming season.

“We have the buyout [$500,000], there’s that, and then there will be whatever liquidated damages,” Spetman said. “If we aren’t able to find another team, that’s what we’re going to have to look at. You’re talking about a lot of money.”

“A lot of money” could be anywhhere from an estimated $2.5 million to $3.5 million.

Florida State associate athletic director Elliott Finebloom told ESPN’s Sports Business blogger Kristi Dosh that FSU will probably lose around $2.5 million in ticket sales alone, not including season ticket sales, from the cancelled WVU game. Finebloom added it could cost the school another $1 million to bring an opponent into Tallahassee; FSU apparently isn’t willing to sacrifice a seventh home game in order to fill out their schedule.

“Seven home games is something every business in town counts on, from hotels to restaurants,” Finebloom said. “People think it’s about the athletic department wanting to make more money, but we have a responsibility to area businesses who count on seven home games.”

The Sentinel reported earlier this month that FSU had reached out to schools like Oklahoma, with whom FSU had just finished a home-and-home series, and Texas A&M to fill the slot left vacant by WVU. OU has filled out its schedule and A&M opted for two 1-AA opponents in Sam Houston State and South Carolina State to complete its 2012 lineup. The Aggies will also get Arkansas at home this year before returning that game to Dallas in 2014.

As for FSU, some of you have clamored for a Boise State or Big East option since they have scheduling slots available. Boise has been rumored to be looking for a way to get in the Big East by this upcoming season. Still, that would leave one spot open on the schedule of some Big East teams.

One thing’s clear: WVU’s departure put plenty of schools in an unfavorable scheduling bind.

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19 Responses to “FSU says it could lose at least $2.5 million on lost WVU game”
  1. thraiderskin says: Feb 20, 2012 12:11 PM

    Well that sucks for FSU. On a side note, why wouldn’t the Big 12 consider bringing Boise State into the fold, is that not a viable option? For some reason that makes more sense to me than WVU.

  2. canetic says: Feb 20, 2012 12:12 PM

    I guess some of their players are going to have to take a pay cut

  3. jimmy53 says: Feb 20, 2012 12:36 PM

    Canetic, are you a Miami fan making fun of FSU players being paid? Now that’s the funniest crap I’ve heard all day!!! Enjoy the sanctions~

  4. woebegong says: Feb 20, 2012 12:40 PM

    That’s why it they call it an escape clause. If WVU paid the half a million bucks, are they really obligated beyond that. The timing isn’t perfect, but it took that long due to the Big east messing around with them, so they evidently, didn’t have much choice. I am sure there are still a few top schools willing to go play them. Either way, they have to fill out the schedule, so there is not a lot of choice with that.

  5. drummerhoff says: Feb 20, 2012 12:42 PM

    One thing’s clear: Missouri’s departure put plenty of schools in an unfavorable scheduling bind.

  6. tr975 says: Feb 20, 2012 12:47 PM

    “…A&M opted for two 1-AA opponents in Sam Houston State and South Carolina State to complete its 2012 lineup.”

    And with that, it can be said that Texas A&M has truly joined the SEC.

  7. indywvu says: Feb 20, 2012 12:52 PM

    Glad to see that while many around college football feel WVU isn’t worth a damn, at least FSU can put a number on it.

    Need proof of what people think about WVU? Someone saying that Boise State would have been a better option for the Big 12 than WVU.

  8. tr975 says: Feb 20, 2012 12:59 PM

    indywvu says:

    Glad to see that while many around college football feel WVU isn’t worth a damn, at least FSU can put a number on it.

    Need proof of what people think about WVU? Someone saying that Boise State would have been a better option for the Big 12 than WVU.
    When all of this conference shuffling began, I was hoping that the Big 10 would have been able to entice West Virginia and Notre Dame into joining, getting the conference to 14 teams. I think it would have been a good fit.

  9. indywvu says: Feb 20, 2012 1:20 PM

    I would have loved that, since I’m a WVU alum in Indianapolis. However, the Big 10/11/12 maintains that it’s as much about academics as sports and apparently WVU’s academics just don’t match up.

  10. thraiderskin says: Feb 20, 2012 2:22 PM

    I wasn’t saying WVU is a poor addition, I said I thought Boise made sense too, more sense than WVU. And you’re right, WVU doesn’t meet certain criteria to be in the B1G.

  11. helenh777 says: Feb 20, 2012 2:31 PM

    The mountaineers did not sneak out in the middle of the night. They have been talking about it for months. They said a long time ago that they would be dropping the FSU game and that they would be going to the Big 12.

    They have a clause that says WVA has to pay a fine of $500,000. As I understand it there is no clause that says they also have to pay what ever FSU thinks they should.

    When Rich Rod left in the middle of the night, we could only charge according to his contract. How can FSU expect any different. If you want a home game then take what you can get. FSU fans are so hungry for a win they will pay to see you play anyone. You have had so many bad years you can not expect the great teams to come to you. It is now time for you to go to them. But then
    maybe one of the Big East teams will come to you. Have you tried?
    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Maybe you should do what others have done, get a better coach.Looks like Edsel will be free soon.

  12. wickerphil says: Feb 20, 2012 4:48 PM

    I wish West Virginia fans would quit pointing the finger at Missouri. Missouri had to leave when it did because A) they were at risk of attempts by the Big 12 and Missouri politicians to try to strong-arm them into staying and B) there is no guarantee that the SEC would have held the spot open for Missouri, especially after people trying to scuttle the deal leaked information to the press bashing the SEC, claiming that Missouri really wanted to be in the Big 10, and would leave the SEC for the Big 10 if the invite ever came (see A).

    There was lots of opposition to Missouri getting into the SEC. Some folks resented the SEC’s going after them as part of a new emphasis on academics, others hated prioritizing TV markets over football. Others feared that Mizzou was a bunch of snobs who wouldn’t fit into – or would change – SEC culture. There was a move to hold off expanding for a season and making another run at an ACC school, and had FSU, Clemson, Miami, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and N.C. State all not publicly rejected any interest in the SEC, it might have worked.

    Like West Virginia, Missouri did what they had to do in order to secure an invite that may not have been on the table much longer. Missouri came THIS CLOSE to being abandoned by Texas, Oklahoma and company twice in 13 months, plus were publicly humiliated by the Big 10. Where would they have wound up then? The Mountain West? The Big East? Sorry. WVU fans should quit pointing fingers and just own up to their own decision that they made for their own interests.

    Besides, who do they owe anything to anyway? FSU and the former independents (and former Big East teams) didn’t look back when they left WVU behind; most of them stopped playing WVU . As for the Big East: well Pitt and Syracuse are on their way to the ACC, and UConn and Rutgers would be as well if the ACC would invite them. The rest of them are schools that haven’t been in the Big East that long anyway (Cincinnati, Louisville, USF) or are basketball schools that are truly responsible for the mess that the Big East became (see Notre Dame). And don’t think that Louisville and Cincinnati aren’t angling to get into the Big 12 right now … they are.

    Enough finger pointing. Own up to your own actions.

  13. helenh777 says: Feb 20, 2012 6:30 PM

    To wickerphil:
    The only comment about Missouri was from drummerhoff. Is he or she a mountaineer? No one has said anything about not taking credit for moving to the Big 12. Just said we have talked about it for months. We said flat out that we were moving. Said we planned to pay the penalty. People like FSU should have listened. They had at least three months more to begin looking for another team. I just can not understand why they are too good for Pitt. and Syracuse. After all they were chosen to join the ACC.
    I have nothing against any other school. But I am really tired of hearing how all people from WVA are stupid. That is just not so. After players graduated from Wake Forest, they came to WVA to finish their education. If we are so dumb why did they not choose another school like FSU or Missouri?

  14. losthaven72 says: Feb 20, 2012 6:55 PM

    I have no pity for an ACC team losing money from an ex-Big East team ; especially when this games only reason for existence is because the ACC raided the Big East. It amazes me that they feel so hurt because WVU backed out. Seems to me WVU had to scurry around and change their schedule when VT, MIAMI AND BC all left the conference with no notice. FSU and the ACC started this crap when they invited Pitt and Cuse. It should be a wash, the game was an agreement with the BE to make up for the initial raid, we are no longer part of the BE, get over it. FSU is not a victim, this is just Karma…

  15. norcalirish says: Feb 21, 2012 7:29 AM

    Lol @ canetic

  16. florida727 says: Feb 21, 2012 7:47 AM

    Unfortunately for FSU, they’ll have no other recourse against WVU than the $500K referenced. Good luck seeking additional damages. That’s why contracts exist… to make sure the involved parties know what they’re entitled to if/when a break of the agreement takes place. To think you’re entitled to more is a pathetic plea for sympathy from the sports fan. Ain’t workin’ boys.

    A&M favoring 2 DII’s over a chance to play FSU is a pretty sad commentary on their priorities. I’m sure those DII games will prepare them for the rigors of SEC play. Pretty pathetic way to impress your new conference foes Aggies (ducking a chance to play FSU, I mean).

  17. 24sirporkalot24 says: Feb 21, 2012 11:27 AM

    I heard FSU was gonna play the Razorbacks in WVU’s absence…….. May already be a done deal.

  18. helenh777 says: Feb 21, 2012 12:51 PM

    Now I would like to see that game. I hope 24sirporkalot24 is right. If so I would like to know for sure as soon as possible. Are they coming to Florida State or are the Noles going there? Either way FSU will go down the tubes quickly again this next year.

    By the way I also would like to see the non conference schedule.

  19. lakesidegator says: Feb 21, 2012 4:23 PM

    The No’s suk BIG time/and deserve AWL THINGS BAD/ millions or half/ or what.

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