For those curious about the details of West Virginia’s settlement with the Big East that freed the Mountaineers to join the Big 12 for the 2012 football season, school officials already have released a 25-page settlement document to media outlets that submitted a Freedom of Information request.
Among the outlets receiving and posting the information is BlueGoldNews.com, a website that covers the school for Scout.com. In a post summarizing the settlement, the website reports that the documents show:
1. The total value of the settlement is $20 million.
2. The amount is due in multiple payments. West Virginia submitted a $2.5 million withdrawal fee in October when notifying the league of its intent to leave. A lump sum of $8.5 million is due to the Big East by Feb. 17 (Friday). West Virginia also agreed to forfeit all of its 2011-12 conference revenues, which is estimated to be $9 million. If the figure exceeds $9 million, the Big East will pay the difference to the school.
3. Both parties agreed that payments on West Virginia’s behalf could come from a third party (either the Big 12 or the private WVU Foundation would qualify). The documents show the WVU Foundation created a “Big 12 Transition Fund” to be used in the settlement. The Foundation is scheduled to deposit $10 million into the fund to cover the Big East’s $8.5 million payment by Friday. The money in the fund, according to documents, can be used “at the discretion of the university.”
4. West Virginia will not be entitled to any revenue distributions from the league after its June 30 exit, even if those revenues were earned while the Mountaineers were part of the Big East. That includes NCAA Tournament credits and withdrawal fees collected by fellow Big East departees Syracuse and Pittsburgh, two schools set to join the ACC in 2014.
5. West Virginia and the Big 12 pledged to use their “reasonable best efforts to help (Big East) conference members schedule additional football games for the 2012-13 season.” The school specifically has been asked to assist Pittsburgh and Syrcacuse in scheduling a game against a Big 12 member this fall “if possible.” The settlement document shows West Virginia is not required to take any steps in regard to scheduling “if another school announces it is joining the Big East for football for the 2012-13 season.”
6. There is a “no disparagement” agreement between West Virginia and the Big East prohibiting each side from engaging in negative public comments about the other.
Those are the highlights. For the full report, click this link:
_ Jimmy Burch