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.