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WVU, Big East resolve financial issues

Matters between West Virginia University and the Big East Conference have been resolved as the league recently dispersed its total revenue distribution for the 2011-12 season.

The Gazette-Mail requested the final numbers from the university and on Friday received the numbers via deputy athletic director Mike Parsons.

According to Parsons, the total revenue distribution from the Big East to WVU for the season was $9,985,832.38. Thus, on July 23 WVU received $985,832.38 from the Big East's year-end conference revenue distributions.

The school agreed to forfeit the rest as part of a settlement with the conference in order to jump to the Big 12 this coming season.

The total agreement called for the Big East to receive $20 million from WVU in exchange for a departure from the conference on July 1.

A breakdown of the payments:

  • West Virginia wrote a check to the Big East immediately after accepting an invitation to the Big 12 in the amount of $2.5 million. That was executed in October 2011 as part of the league's mandated $5 million exit fee.
  • Another $8.5 million check was sent Feb. 17 of this year. That was paid from a $10 million "Big 12 Transition Fund" established by the WVU Foundation.
  • The $9 million cut of the Big East revenue from the past season.
  • In the agreement, the $9 million was a "Forecasted Amount." Had the Mountaineers' cut fallen short of that forecast, the school would have been obligated to write a check to the league for the difference.

    As it turned out, however, the league was obligated to cut a check for the money above the forecasted amount.

    WVU, however, is still on the hook for some funds within the $10 million Big 12 Transition Fund, which came from the Big 12. In the agreement's Memorandum of Understanding, it was noted that $5 million is to be forgiven and the other $5 million repaid to the Big 12 over time and with interest.

    Sources have confirmed that, although not part of the settlement papers, the $5 million repayment won't begin until 2015-16. That's when WVU will begin receiving a full share of the Big 12's revenue-sharing pie. The payments will be made $1 million at a time for five years.

    The school is set to receive a 50 percent share of revenue from the Big 12 after this coming school year, 67 percent the following year, 85 in the third year and 100 percent in the fourth year.

    Projected Big 12 shares are expected to reach $20.6 million - and that's just television revenue after agreed upon contracts are signed.

    The extra $1.5 million in the WVU Foundation Transition Fund is to cover any interest on the aforementioned loan.

    Parsons said that under the terms of the settlement agreement, WVU would not comment further on the details.

    Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvingle@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.


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