Pitt & Big East settle on 2013 exit

The Big East wrapped up the legal and financial wrangling with former members this afternoon, agreeing to release the University of Pittsburgh from its 27-month notice obligation next summer in exchange for a payment of $7.5million, $2.5 million more than the school was obligated to pay if following the terms of the conference bylaws. The move will presumably end the lawsuit filed by Pittsburgh against the conference in Pennsylvania court.

The Big East's remaining members have agreed to vote at an upcoming meeting to terminate Pittsburgh's membership in the conference, effective July 1, 2013. Both Pittsburgh and Syracuse will join the Atlantic Coast Conference officially on that date.

"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 interim Big East commissioner Joe Bailey in a statement.

"We have appreciated and enjoyed our membership in the Big East and wish them much success in the future," stated Pitt AD Joe Bailey. "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."

The Big East also dropped its lawsuit against TCU today, dismissing the suit with prejudice, meaning that the case cannot be brought again. The conference brought the suit to claim the $5 million that they believed was due when TCU breached it's agreement to join the Big East this summer.

"The Big East made demand for the payment owed under the agreement, but Texas Christian University has refused to make that payment or acknowledge its obligation to do so," according to the lawsuit.

The Big East conference's attorneys initially did not comment on the reason for the dismissal. According to a later report from the Associated Press, however, TCU appears to have decided to pay the $5 million to the Big East in exchange for the suit being dropped.

"TCU has fully discharged its obligations to the Big East and the lawsuit is amicably settled without admission of liability of any party," the Big East said in a statement.

In total, the Big East has received a settlement of $20 million from West Virginia, $7.5 million from each of Syracuse and Pittsburgh as well as $5 million from TCU. That is $25 million more than the conference was due to receive from the departing members under the bylaws (TCU's obligation was under a contract separate from the bylaw provisions).

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