Catholic 7 caves in; FB schools hit $100 million jackpot

In the end, in a financial battle of “chicken” the Catholic 7 group of schools wanting to leave the  Big East, sooner, rather than later, blinked and backed down, accepting a financial buyout far below what they hoped to receive.

According to sources familiar with the talks that have been held between the Catholic 7 group of schools and the Big East football schools, the deal that could be finalized and announced on Wednesday will pay each of the remaining football schools-Connecticut, Cincinnati and South Florida a significant percentage of the nearly 100 million set aside for the football schools after the settlement with the Catholic 7..

The Catholic 7 group–Seton Hall, DePaul, Marquette, Villanova, St. John’s Georgetown and Providence–had hoped to each receive between $3 and 5 million from that pot. They will take half of that, with each school receiving approximately $1.5 million.

No final agreement on the ultimate distribution of the money has been reached among the remaining members of the Big East football conference.

The breakdown ranges from an 89-10 percent distribution among the old and new schools with Cincinnati,  UConn and South Florida each receiving nearly 30 million each and the next group which includes Temple, SMU, Memphis, Central Florida, Houston, East  Carolina, Tulane and Navy dividing the rest of the money.

That total would also be adjusted to give slightly more to Temple, which joined the Big East in football last season and will be a full member in all sports, starting in July.

The new members will make their Big East debuts in stages–with  East Carolina and Tulane joining the conference in 2014–East Carolina was originally voted in as a football only member, but will be upgraded to a full member  in the next few months–and Navy in 2015. Big East commissioner Mike Aresco has indicated that the conference plans to add a 12th team as well, with most of the speculation including Tulsa as the choice.

Not surprisingly, the 89-11 ratio has not gone well with the new members who would like to  come up with a more equitable balance between old and new.  The new members concede that UConn, Cincinnati and South Florida are the remaining foundation and entitled to a greater amount. But the counter argument is simple: without the new schools, there would be no football league of any kind.

Some possibilities of discussion include:

1. change the distribution ratio to more of a football-basketball percentage of 75-25 percent, which would give Cincinnati, UConn and South Florida 25 million dollars each and give the 8 newcomers 25 million, instead of 10 million ,to divide.

2. The Big East could wave the rest of the entrance fees for each new school–estimated to be $2.5 million, which would then give them somewhere in the range of $3.5 in a positive cash flow to start their lives in their conference home.

What no one is disputing is that all the football schools will distribute nearly $100 million, while the Catholic 7 will walk away with under $10 million.

Had the Catholic 7 waited until July 1, 2014 to leave, the  cash payout would have been significantly higher but with pressure from the new Fox  Sports Cable network which is starting this summer and will use the Catholic 7 league as a cornerstone for its programming, Fox put  pressure on the Catholic 7  to leave sooner rather than later and also take the Big East name.

To make up for the financial short fall of the Catholic 7, sources suggested that Fox might be willing to increase its offer (reportedly $40 million a year for what has been projected as a 10 to 12 team league) by an additional 10 to 12 million, which would get the Catholic 7 schools in the financial comfort zone they seek.

The Big East will also announce its 2013 conference football schedule on Wednesday.

Still to come will be the re-naming of the football conference, as well  as a new site for the basketball tournament, since the Catholic 7 group will take the Big East name and is expected to sign a deal to play its tournament in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

In what has been a long and draining siege on the conference, including the remaining football surviving members of South  Florida, Cincinnati and UConn, who have been left out of the conference reconfiguration derby,  a pay-day of between  20 and $30 million will reduce will temporarily reduce much of the angst.

© Copyright 2013 Mark, All rights Reserved. Written For: A Jersey Guy
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47 comments for “Catholic 7 caves in; FB schools hit $100 million jackpot

  1. Michael
    March 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Considering that the B10 will begin its negotiations for a new Tier 1 contract in 2015, that basically means that Conference realignment will be ending about then. I would assume that the B10 and SEC would both want to be at 16 by the time the new deals or networks are done.
    This deal keeps USF, Cinci and UConn in a good financial position to be the next teams to make a move. Over the next 3 year, each team will receive about $36 million…or $12 million a year. That’s very competitive to what the current ACC teams are getting.

    One area I would love insight if Mark can respond is why are the incoming teams getting any money? Moving from their current spot to the conference formerly known as the Big East is a slight improvement, so they haven’t been harmed. I just wonder what the reasoning behind the payout?

    also, what do you think of the ” All American Conference”….much better then Big Metro, sounds like a fat pseudo gay guy.

    • cwc
      March 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      If it was not for newies joining BE Cinn, Uconn, and USF would be joining Cusa or a lower level conference

    • blackjack
      March 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      USF moving on? where they going- to the Sunbelt? They’ve been on welfare since they got in BE in ’04……got in only b/c BE needed a Florida presence (trip). UCF has passed then already in FB and Men’s hoops, ECU likely to do same in next few yrs.

    • Ken
      March 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

      How can you honestly say the new teams have not been harmed?!?!? Houston, SMU, UCF and Memphis all signed contracts (legal documents) to join a conference that contained Louisville, Rutgers, ND and the C7. All those schools made financial commitments based on that agreement.
      Since all of those teams left after the new schools agreed to join, they should receive far more than the 11 percent they are being offered and even more that the 25 percent that they are arguing for. All exit fees from the schools that have left since the new schools agreed to join should be divided equally among all the members who will be in the new conference. Since the “brand equity” that Aresco kept talking about with the BIG EAST name is also gone, the new schools are harmed to an equal amount that the old schools are.

  2. Joker
    March 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    UConn might be able to stretch $30m over the next 5 years if need be.

    $6m per year, $2m in BCS bowl money next season, $2m in TV money annually, $25m per year in licensing, the Notre Dame exit fees still to come.

  3. Michael
    March 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    One other question….can you break down how your coming up with $114 million. Just wondering all the sources.
    Exit fees: WVU $15, Pitt $7.5, Cuse $7.5, Rutgers $10, Lville $10, TCU $5, Boise $5 = $60 million

    • Joker
      March 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      NCAA tourney credits

  4. Warrior
    March 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Marquette. Not Georgetown twice.

  5. TU_NY
    March 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Mark, you’ve still failed to mention anything about Temple’s status in the league. It’s been confirmed that TU’s contract with the Big East makes us full voting members in the league as of 7/1/12. How is it possible that a full voting member won’t be entitled to any of the exit fees? This does not make any sense and, in all of the articles you’ve written on the subject, you have not addressed it once.

    • homelesscub
      March 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      I think Temple is a full voting member for football only at this point. They won’t be a full member in all sports until July 1 of this year. This would explain why they aren’t getting any of the exit fees.

      • TU_NY
        March 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm

        Wrong – I’ve seen it reported once before and confirmed today that Temple has been a full voting member of the Big East (as in NOT football only) since 7/1/12. That is per Temple AD Bill Bradshaw.

        • Mark
          March 5, 2013 at 7:58 pm

          You don’t get it. Temple HAS BEEN A member since july 2012, but will not be a full member until this july AND DID NOT HAVE VOTING RIGHTS in the discussion with the Catholic 7

          • TU_NY
            March 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm

            Either you or Temple’s own AD is wrong about whether Temple is currently a full voting member. Bradshaw was quoted again today as saying that Temple has been a full voting member since 7/1/12. Obviously people within the conference have recognized that Temple deserves a larger share of the exit fees than the incoming schools, as evidenced by the revision in your article above. I’ve been stating as such for a week now in the comments sections of your blog entries… I’m not the one that doesn’t get it.

        • football
          March 6, 2013 at 8:38 am

          TU ny – you need to let it go – really move on already

        • BruceMcF
          March 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

          If the Temple AD says they get a vote, and then when the meeting comes they don’t get to vote, then it would seem different people were reading the bylaws differently, and the Temple AD did not win the argument.

          Go on ahead and do a Freedom of Information request from one of the public universities in one of the states that has broad FOI laws, and see what you can find out. Until then, the evidence is that the Temple AD did not carry the day on that claim.

  6. RH
    March 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    That’s nice. Now uconn and cincy take $30mm and bolt next year. btw, Temple played BE football last year also.

    • BruceMcF
      March 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Probably not … it has to be paid out over time, since some of this money will be coming in over the next few years (next six years for tournament credits earned this coming tournament) … if UConn and/or UC bolt, they’ll have to leave behind the money that has not been distributed yet.

  7. Shorestang
    March 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I spoke to an SMU attendee at the Atlanta meeting when I read this, expressing my outrage if it were true. He assures me it is complete nonsense, a total fabrication. There will be no 20 to 1 preference for USF, UConn and Cincy; not even close. That kind of split between old and new schools was not even discussed in Atlanta. If that type of split did occur, UH and SMU would be in the Mountain West Conference in a heartbeat and UConn, Cincy and USF would be sucking more wind than they think they are now. This report is complete fiction.

    • Joker
      March 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Some figures:

      BE TV contract: $2 million per year

      CUSA TV Contract with Memphis, Houston, SMU, ECU and Tulane in the conference: $400k

      Next year in the new conference: $2 million per school in BCS autobid money

      $1 million doled out per school per these reports

      Notre Dame and Rutgers haven’t paid their exit fees yet, could be upward of $15-20 million

      NCAA credits from this year’s tourney won’t be paid out to the departers ($25 million)

      The way I see it, these schools are in for a $7 million one-time bonanza each that they otherwise would not have.

      $1.6 million yearly in additional TV money

      • Dr. Chim Richalds
        March 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        Those numbers on the C-USA contract are way off Joker. It was slightly north of $1m per school.

        The ND and Rutgers exit fees will similarly be kept by UConn, USF, and UC. You don’t think they’re going to try and wrap that up before June too, even if it means negotiating down to a settled amount? Its a fire sale. Everything Must Go!!! prior to July 1.

        The yearly tv money bump in the B.E. is closer to 800-900k.

        You’re missing the point though. The new members had no interest in selling the name so discussing how the money is split is moot.

        • BruceMcF
          March 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm

          When they settle the amount is not what drives that, its when they give notice, which Rutgers has already done. Notre Dame will surely have decided what they are going to do before 1 July 2013, so they’ll also be giving notice before the new schools enter.

      • Knightbengal
        March 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm

        UCF would have. We signed ponied up our 5 mill exit and escrowed our entrance fee in 2011 before temple was in at a time when all the members were here. If anyone is getting screwed is us. At the very least the beast name proceeds should be divided up evenly. We signed up for big east and were sold short. We are making over 1 mill in cusa a year btw. Ultimately the three want out. This money was seed money for the conference not as a buyout until others leave. They would have been orphans without is. They don’t deserve that much sorry.

    • Guy
      March 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Boo-hoo. You don’t like the deal, the SMU admins don’t like the deal? Houston, Memphis, et al?

      Who cares? Find another option, there aren’t any. No way SMU or Houston move to the MWC. No. Way.

      They will like their lot in the new conference and they will like it. Don’t believe me, let’s see how this plays out. I suspect the junior members of this crappy conference will still be here after the news becomes official. These CUSA schools are weak and they’ll take anything, otherwise why are they still hanging around?

      Take it and like it smu guy.

      • Knightbengal
        March 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        If you are directing that at me I would hope that you gleaned that I am a UCF fan, not an SMU fan. IF you factor in our costs etc we would have been better off staying in CUSA. You still have not explained to me why the three deserve conference exit fee money for themselves. If they dissolved the conference and started a new one that is one thing, if we are talking about the evolution of the original entity that is another. If anybody should be crying boohoo it should be the leftovers. They will get out of the conference and hopefully we will to. In the interim the money should be divided based on the current conference make up. This helps make the conference stronger by allowing us to invest in our programs, which ultimately is the future of THIS conference. That is what exit fees are intended for, NOT to have the three make out like bandits, expand Nippert etc., and get out of dodge. We could have just formed our own league for that. Sorry, but your logic doesn’t work because there is no logic behind it.

        • BruceMcF
          March 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm

          Lets get serious about the sharing ~ $10m out of about $60m in exit fees would be 17% of the exit fee pool. 25% would be $15m.

          That implies that its 0% share of the legacy NCAA credits, but what’s the matter with that? UConn, UC and USF were part of the conference that earned the nearly $60m in NCAA tournament credits already due … why should the new schools get a piece of that action?

          If the Big TBA establishes itself as a 1-3 bid conference with an average of 4 appearances a year, it will make $6m from tournament revenue. With Houston, SMU, Tulane and ECU dragging down the conference RPI, it’d be harder to do a lot better than that, unless the conference can adds a BBall-only member to balance the FB-only add of Navy. But in any event, the new schools can get an equal slice of that action, even though many of them would be doing more to make NCAA bids hard to get than contributing to earning that money.

      • Shorestang
        March 6, 2013 at 10:19 am

        You are an idiot. USF, UConn and Cincy are the WEAK links in the new Big East, which is why no one wants their crap asses. DFW is the FIFTH largest TV market in the country, and Houston is right behind. Texas is a fertile recruiting ground that every conference wants to be in. So when the ACC blows up in April/May, watch Houston and SMU get invited to the ACC before crap UConn, crap USF or crap Cincy. If Houston, Memphis and SMU left the Big Fleeced conference, they would have homes in a minute and USF, UConn and Cincy would be the orphans. We at SMU are richer, in the most desirable market in the country for football and will be part of the survivors.

        • Kibblesnbits
          March 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm

          Pure fantasy. If SMU actually brought with it the DFW market they would have been in a better league years ago. They are probably, at best, 4th in their home market (more likely 6th or 7th). Houston might be third in theirs but is probably lower. UConn is as popular or more so in NYC (the biggest media market in the country) as SMU is in DFW plus it brings exclusive control of 3+M in its home state and significant interest in the rest of New England. It’s not even close.

        • SJGMoney
          March 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm

          Finally somebody that gets it. TV Markets people, TV markets.

          • BruceMcF
            March 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm

            TV markets require (1) people with TV sets (2) tuned in to watch the show.

            The problem with SMU is not (1), its (2). That’s why the Big TBA wanted Boise State in the first place, to have a team that people would tune in to watch, to combine with all of the Top 50 media markets they had put together.

        • Derek
          March 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm

          You sir, are either very ill-informed, or very delusional…perhaps both.

  8. Chris Columbo
    March 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Great news for U Conn, Cincy and USF. C7 is on to its new life with Fox. The newbies are in good shape with ESPN contract. Get the deal closed now.

  9. Bman
    March 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Perhaps the Old BE schools and the new schools coming in the old BE haven’t fully decided how the money will be split. I would be pissed too if I were Temple or SMU, even though none of those NCAA credits were earned by them. Uconn is at the biggest loser, for what they have done in basketball, they now won’t ever again play in the BE tourn in MSG and they have to come up with a new name for their conference. You talk about embarrasing.

  10. CTBCGUY
    March 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    So, Mark, are you done now with your 24/7 coverage of the sinking of the Titanic? It is over, and has been for a long, long time. Nobody outside of Hartford and Storrs cares at all!!!!! Even there, folks are just waiting for the “inevitable” ticket out of the Old New Big East (or whatever the heck it is going to be titled).

    • RudyMass
      March 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Respectfully, I care. As a Temple season ticket holder and donor, I watched in horror as AD Bill Bradshaw bought us a bag of rocks. Mark’s coverage has brought me some comfort, realizing Bradshaw wasn’t the only stupid, greedy person in the room…just one of many.

    • C.P
      March 5, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      yea i care too as a fan of the big east i have come here to get some good inside info/gossip/guess about the future of the C7

    • football
      March 6, 2013 at 8:41 am

      similar to CP and Rudy mass – i enjoy marks blog – really if you dont like move on

  11. Pete15
    March 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    One question I didn’t see addressed was the fund to support buyouts for the most-likely 5 Midwestern schools: Butler, Dayton, Creighton, Saint Louis and Xavier. Also rumor of Richmond for Creighton (although said both Marquette and DePaul have demanded Creighton’s inclusion), or, if ND chooses to not stay and rescind ACC membership). Reports are the A10 is requesting a $2M buyout per school and it was reported the group of 7 would “finance” those buyouts for the TV markets they represent.
    Anyone know of this part of the re-construction of the Big East?

  12. Chris Columbo
    March 6, 2013 at 12:01 am

    It is interesting to hear the perspective of the new entrants to the league. I believe these schools are all in an improved place with the exception of Temple which was better off in their prior configuration. I understand why new entrants say this isn’t what they signed up for. This is true there won’t be a big easy payday, now the only way to do well is to actually perform on the field. That of course is easier said than done. Houston and SMU both have a chance to join big 12 if they can prove they can play with the big boys . UCF has a shot at the ACC with sustained success.

    • SJGMoney
      March 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      CluelessColumbo. Do you honestly think Miami and FSU would let another school into the ACC? As far as Houston and SMU it is not about ability to play on the field, it is about TV markets.

  13. Brad J
    March 6, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Call me crazy, but I’m not too excited about the new C7. For Georgetown, the Verizon Center has yet to be full (okay the Cuse is coming to town) however, schools like Cuse, Louisville, UConn, Pitt and etc bring a lot of visitor fans to the Verizon Center. What has been sad is to see that no one comes out to the games vs the like of St Johns (which use to sell out the Capital Centre), DePaul, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette, and even Villanova. I think this move may lead Georgetown to an on-campus (which is not possible) or a smaller arena in the DMV. I actually had hope that he C7 could stick together with the football schools as there were potential nice regional rivalries forming with Temple, ECU, and the possibility of UMass joining. Let’s see how this works out.

    • bad for Basketball
      March 6, 2013 at 8:43 am

      Brad – i agree at the end of day this bad for Basketball – alot of great rivalries are gone and thats bad for the Fans

  14. Ken
    March 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

    USF, UConn and Cincy should evenly split the exit fees from WVU, Syracuse and Pitt.

    Exit fees from Louisville, Rutgers, ND and the C7 should be split evenly between USF, UConn, Cinci, Temple, UCF, Houston, SMU, and Memphis.

    Tulane and ECU should share in the “profit” from the sale of the Big East name.

    That’s the only FAIR way to do it. But we all know that USF, UConn and Cincy are going to be greedy and take more than what they deserve.

    • Joker
      March 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      UConn has been a big cog in the conference and built a lot of sweat equity. It deserves all it can get because now it’s affiliated with the likes of SMU etc.

      In other words, “not a dime back.”

  15. boyee
    March 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    This is great news for the Big East (Catholic 7) and the Football schools, who still have 4 solid basketball schools in Connecticut, Cincinnati, Temple and Memphis. Why they added SMU and Tulane is beyond me. They could have chose UAB and UMass.

    • SJGMoney
      March 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      SMU for the Dallas TV market, and as a partner for Houston makes sense. Tulane does not on any level and Tulsa might be the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. Georgia State, for the Atlanta TV market, would be 1000 times better and I don’t even know how many sports they have teams in!!!

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