The conference is sitting on exit fees from departing members, including money that has yet to be collected. West Virginia agreed to pay $20 million for an immediate escape last year while Pittsburgh and Syracuse each negotiated $7.5 million fees to leave after the 2012-13 academic year.
The Big East is also collecting $5 million from TCU, which left last year before officially arriving. And Rutgers and Louisville will each be on the hook for $10 million exit fees, although Rutgers is suing the conference over the fee and there’s a chance Louisville could pay more for the opportunity to leave for the ACC before the 27-month exit window expires.
I was quoted in the article about the possibility that the breakup of the conference could be litigated:
“I expect that the departure of the Catholic schools from the Big East will be resolved privately, outside of court,” Connecticut sports attorney Daniel Fitzgerald said in an email. “[Commissioner] Mike Aresco has publicly stated the Big East’s intention for an amicable split and I think that makes sense on a few different levels.”
Fitzgerald, publisher of the website Connecticut Sports Law, said that slowing down the process through litigation would be a mistake because time is of the essence as Aresco attempts to keep his conference alive.
Thanks to Paul Doyle for reaching out to me and for his outstanding coverage of UConn and conference realignment.