West Virginia will pay the Big East $20 million to move on to the Big 12 by this upcoming season — with a little bit of help from “third parties”, of course. However, the Mountaineers’ Backyard Brawl rivals, Pitt, don’t want their exit settlement from the Big East to be anywhere near as high.
When asked byPittsburgh Tribune reporter Jerry DiPaola if the Panthers would consider paying more than $5 million to leave for the ACC, perhaps in 2013 as has been speculated, Pitt AD Steve Pederson responded as bluntly as possible” “No.”
Big East presidents voted last October to double the exit fee of leaving the conference to $10 million, which was made official when Navy joined the Big East earlier this month. Pitt had already announced it would be departing for the ACC in September.
So far, Pitt hasn’t indicated publicly they plan to leave before the 27-month waiting period ends. With WVU’s litigation battle with the Big East finally over, however, there’s some precedence for Pitt and Syracuse to make an earlier move.
The difference is WVU felt a tremendous amount of pressure from the Big 12 to join immediately. That pressure just doesn’t exist with Pitt and the ACC. But if Pitt does want to leave the conference, say, next year, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario that doesn’t result in the Panthers paying more than the $5 million exit fee. Would it be as much as $20 million? Probably not, but it would certainly be more than the bare minimum.