Though the Big East-West Virginia legal battle over the Mountaineers’ exit to the Big 12 is firmly in the rear view mirror, the money WVU owes its now-former conference remains a story within itself.
A recap of what has been reported, in case you missed it: moving to the Big 12 will cost WVU $20 million. WVU will apparently pay half of that amount; the Big 12 the other half. That $10 million from the Big 12 is said to be split into two parts — a $5 million “gift” and another $5 million that will be repayed, so to speak, by WVU through broadcast revenues being withheld annually over a period of time.
Today, the 25-page settlement agreement — called a “Standstill Agreement” — between the Big East and WVU was obtained by several media outlets. Here is how a few major areas break down:
(The important things to remember are that monies are being shifted around in layers, and WVU will view this as “an investment” until they receive full conference revenue from the Big 12)
WVU paid the Big East $2.5 million in October when it announced it would be departing for the Big 12, half of what was then a $5 million buyout stipulated in the Big East conference bylaws. The school will pay the Big East $8.5 million in a lump sum on Feb. 17. The conference buyout amount was raised to $10 million as voted upon by Big East conference members in October; that amount became effective when Navy announced it would become a football-only member of the Big East last month.
That $8.5 million likely will come from the WVU Foundation, a private fundraising extension of the school, which has set up a “Big 12 Transition Fund” totaling $10 million. Both the Big East and WVU agreed payments from the school could come from third parties (i.e., the Big 12, WVU Foundation).
The other $1.5 million in that fund will likely be saved for another date.
What the Big East owes WVU
The agreement states WVU is set to receive a “Forecasted Amount” of $9 million from the Big East for the 2011-12 year. WVU has agreed to forfeit any amount up to that number, and the Big East has agreed it will pay any difference beyond that amount to the school.
However, any revenue WVU would receive from the Big East will cease after June 30 of this year, which is the last day WVU will be a member of the Big East. That includes any money WVU would make “based on matters that occurred” before that date. In other words, once July 1 rolls around, WVU won’t receive a dime from the Big East.
Additionally, WVU won’t receive “any portions of the withdrawal fees paid or to be paid by any school that has submitted a Withdrawal Notice” (re: Syracuse and Pittsburgh).
WVU “will use its reasonable best efforts to help Big East members schedule additional football games for the 2012-13 season.” Specifically, WVU will help Pitt and Syracuse schedule a Big 12 opponent provided the two schools make a request by today (Feb. 15). However, if the Big East finds a football member for the 2012 season, that rids WVU of all scheduling matchmaker responsibility.
There is also a confidentially agreement where certain details of the settlement will not be released, and a Disparagement Clause where “each party agrees not to make disparaging comments about the other party.”