Okay, looks like we officially have 348 days until Pitt is a part of the ACC.
The Big East Conference and the University of Pittsburgh announced today that both organizations have reached an agreement on Pittsburgh’s departure from the Big East and move to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Under the terms of the agreement reached between the Big East and Pittsburgh, Big East members will vote, in accordance with the Big East’s bylaws, to terminate Pittsburgh’s membership in the Big East effective July 1, 2013, at which point Pittsburgh will join the ACC. In addition to other consideration, Pittsburgh will make a total cash payment to the Big East of $7.5 million, which includes the $5 million withdrawal fee under the Big East Bylaws applicable at the time Pittsburgh gave notice of withdrawal.
“This is another step for the Big East to take toward a very exciting future. With the addition of our eight new members, the Big East will be incredibly strong and vibrant,” said Joe Bailey, Interim Commissioner of the Big East.
Steve Pederson, Athletic Director for the University of Pittsburgh said: “We have appreciated and enjoyed our membership in the Big East and wish them much success in the future. We are anxious to compete in our final season in the Big East and look forward to an exciting future in the Atlantic Coast Conference.”
Mildly surprised Pitt didn’t work the number down a little considering the hit Pitt took to the football schedulue this year, but it’s not like the Big East would be (or should be) terribly sympathetic.
There was increasing pressure on both sides to settle. Not simply because Syracuse and the Big East reached their agreement earlier. Neither side wanted to head to Big East Media Day in less than 2 weeks with this still over their heads.
Oh, there will be questions. At least for the players on Media Day about final season playing in the Big East.
“We’ve got a lot to just focus with just ourselves,” Chryst said. “We’ve got a really good group of seniors. This is their last year and anything but focusing on this year … would be cheating everyone.”
Not really much to ask Coach Paul Chryst other than, “Coach, what’s it going to be like playing as a lame duck in the Big East this year?” He’s got no memories or history with the conference.
It is also good news for Pitt with recruiting as they can legitimately tell recruits that they will definitely be playing in the ACC next year.
In other Big East lawsuit news, the Big East abruptly dismissed, with prejudice, its lawsuit against TCU for the unpaid exit fee. Presumably this means the money has been paid, but that is unconfirmed.