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Updated: Big East sues TCU over buyout

Chris Del Conte Getty Images

The Big East already filed a countersuit against West Virginia when the Mountaineers tried to — and, eventually, successfully — force their way into the Big 12 this season, so what’s another suit against a former (sort of) member, amirite?

According to a report from, the Big East filed a complaint Monday claiming TCU has not paid the $5 million buyout that the Horned Frogs promised to fork over when they opted to join the Big 12 last fall instead of the Big East.

“The Big East made demand for the payment owed under the agreement, but Texas Christian University has refused to make that payment or acknowledge its obligation to do so,” the lawsuit states. As a result, TCU has allegedly “materially breached” its contract with its “former” league, so to speak.

In reply, TCU released the following (the link also has a copy of the suit):

“TCU administrators were surprised by this lawsuit and believe it is premature. The University is hopeful for an amicable resolution of this matter. Because of the pending litigation TCU will have no further comment.”

TCU originally made plans to join the Big East in 2010. However, when TCU joined the Big 12 last October in the wake of more conference realignment, it agreed to pay the $5 million exit fee, but did not have to wait the required 27-month period to leave. A few weeks later, WVU sued the Big East for the right to join the Big 12 in 2012, at which point the Big East countersued in an attempt to keep the Mountaineers from bolting right away.

TCU, along with WVU, will join the Big 12 in all sports beginning next month. Currently, Pitt is filing its own suit against the Big East for the right to join the ACC in 2013.

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12 Responses to “Updated: Big East sues TCU over buyout”
  1. rcbn says: Jun 11, 2012 3:47 PM

    Big East is going to learn that you never mess with the money from a Christian’s collection plate!

  2. timh1955 says: Jun 11, 2012 3:59 PM

    The Big East is a TOTALLY worthless conference as far as college football goes. It’s on the same level ass the WAC and MWC with totally weak teams that no gives a flip about and will NEVER win a NC or even get close.

  3. ravenseattheirownpoop says: Jun 11, 2012 4:04 PM

    True dat! What he said.

  4. Deb says: Jun 11, 2012 4:14 PM

    TCU shouldn’t have agreed to pay a $5 million exit fee to a conference it never officially joined. Personally, I don’t think they’d be legally obligated to pay the full exit fee in these circumstances. But if it’s true that they agreed to pay the fee, then they’re morally obligated to cough up the money regardless of the circumstances.

  5. deadeye says: Jun 11, 2012 4:35 PM

    All of these lawsuits are the reason that the BIG12, FSU, and Clemson are being so hush-hush about their upcoming realignment.

  6. thegamecocker says: Jun 11, 2012 4:40 PM

    The Big East is just not a BCS worthy conference. Of course, this will all be moot by summer’s end or sooner. I hope Rutger’s gets an invite from a major conference. Good academics and facilities.

  7. ndnut says: Jun 11, 2012 5:40 PM

    Deb, despite the fact that it is a Christian university, morality went out the window a long, long time ago.

  8. thefiesty1 says: Jun 11, 2012 6:14 PM

    Filing suit is the only way the Little East can make any money. They sure won’t get any from TV contracts and bowl money because nobody wants to see them play. They need to figure out who they really are and tsp trying to play with the big boys.

    TCU shouldn’t owe a dime since they never were a member of their little fiefdom.

  9. wustlumdnj says: Jun 11, 2012 6:27 PM

    Don’t blame the Big East for being on the wrong end of the realignment screw. We all know the major issue is how the almighty dollar is ruling the sport and major media corporations have exerted undue influence.

    And in response to timh1959 – calling the Big East (and MWC) “totally worthless” is, ehem, worthless hyperbole. It’s fairly common knowledge that the BE has fallen far behind the rest of the ‘big 6’ in terms of on the field product, but it remains a 100 million dollar operation with many more than respectable universities in play. It is not a totally worthless conference.

  10. normtide says: Jun 11, 2012 6:51 PM

    With everyone leaving, who gets the money from the lawsuits? The 2 or 3 teams left out are shaping up for a payday. But, they will still be teams that nobody wants…

  11. Deb says: Jun 11, 2012 6:53 PM

    @ndnut …

    There’s a lot of that going around 😉

  12. thegamecocker says: Jun 12, 2012 8:12 AM

    To be fair, the Big East as a Basketball Conference is better than most of the larger, high profile football conferences. I believe that will remain intact for the foreseeable future. There is room in all of the conferences for further expansion and I’m sure schools like Rutgers and UCONN will be selected. UCONN basketball is attractive to the ACC; Rutgers has the highest TV ratings of the NY City market and I see a fit in the Big 10. The ACC and Big East will be the main Basketball conferences; the other conferences will dominate the football landscape. Most schools will have a low probability (if any) of EVER winning a football NC. However, all schools will have that opportunity in basketball. If you think about it, other than the proposed football playoffs, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

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