Thursday, December 8, 2011

Details of the Big East Deal

Boise State will pay just $2 million to join the Big East, far less than what you've heard.  Better yet, the $2 million is payable over five years and will be deducted from the revenue the school earns from the conference.  The buyout from the Mountain West is not $5 million as the media has had you believe but rather $2.2 million.  That too is not money that has to be paid by Boise State but rather is taken out of next year's revenue distribution from the MWC.  Boise State will not have to forfeit any money it earns from a bowl game next year either.

Even better news regarding this deal.  The usual buyout to leave the Big East is $5 million, but President Bob Kustra negotiated some things regarding that.  If the Big East does not allocate at least 70% of television money in its new contract to football-playing members, the buyout will be $2.5 million.  If the Big East somehow lost its automatic-qualifying status in the BCS even though it will likely be rated ahead of the ACC, Boise State's buyout would drop to $1 million.  Also, if the conference loses what Boise State determines is an "acceptable Western travel partner", there is no buyout fee for Boise State to leave the conference.  Once Boise State is officially in the conference, it has the same 27-month restriction to leave just as the current members have.
The conference has not established divisions but Kustra expects Boise State, San Diego State, SMU, Houston, Louisville and Houston in the Western Division.  Thus, the Broncos would play five games in their division, three against Eastern Division members and have four non-conference games per year.  The two division winners will meet in the Big East championship game.
Syracuse and Pittsburgh are set to leave for the ACC in 2014.  Navy is one of the schools expected o then join and Kustra is hoping that Air Force or BYU is also added for that season.
The Big East and Boise State will work to get four basketball games scheduled, although there is nothing specific in the contract about the number of games or whether they are men's or women's games. 
To clear up the television contract matter, the Big East's current contract with ESPN expires after the 2013 season and pays $3.7 million per school so Boise State will receive that the first year it is in the conference.  Next September, the conference will begin renegotiating with ESPN and since the conference will be better in football beginning in 2013 than it ever has been in its history, the expectation is that the television contract will likely be substantially higher.  Experts have told Kustra that each school should expect a minimum of $6 million and could receive as high as 10 or 12 per year.

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