Big East football schools reportedly will strike it rich
Big East Conference football schools reportedly will get almost all of a $110 million pot in a deal that will allow seven departing basketball schools to keep the name Big East and start playing in their own conference next season.
NEW YORK — Big East Conference football schools will get almost all of a $110 million pot in a deal that will allow seven departing basketball schools to keep the name Big East and start playing in their own conference next season, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the separation agreement has not been finalized. That is likely to happen within a week.
The football schools will receive approximately $100 million under the agreement, most of which will go to holdover members Connecticut, South Florida and Cincinnati.
The basketball schools will receive $10 million, the Big East name and the right to play their conference tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Big East's stash of cash has built up in recent years through a combination of exit fees, entry fees and money the league's members earned in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Since 2011, the Big East has lost 16 schools that were either members or dropped out before playing a game. That figure includes the seven Catholic basketball schools.
The so-called Catholic 7, which is expected to add at least two more members before it begins competition in the 2013-14 school year, is made up of Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette and DePaul. The new Big East reportedly has a television deal from Fox waiting for it, though it still needs to hire a commissioner and set up a league office.
According to a Chicago Tribune report, the basketball Big East likely would add Butler, located in Indianapolis, and Xavier, which is in Cincinnati.
The Big East football schools recently agreed to a seven-year deal worth about $130 million with ESPN, though the first year of the deal is expected to be reduced with the departure of the seven basketball schools.