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Big East Expansion: Presidents Declined To Raise Exit Fee

Big news! Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports has obtained an e-mail sent from Big East commissioner John Marinatto to the conference's remaining members ahead of the October 2 meeting held 10 days ago. The e-mail discusses the possibility of raising the current $5 million exit fee to anywhere between $17 and $20 million. According to McMurphy:

The Big East’s presidents and chancellors discussed but did not approve a proposal that would have increased the league’s exit fee to between about $17 million and $20 million, more than three times the current amount, during the league’s Oct. 2 meeting, according to league documents obtained by CBSSports.com.

Give commissioner John Marinatto credit; at least he tried to make it tougher for teams to leave the league.

The proposed new exit amount was for $5 million plus "150 percent of the gross revenues received by a departing team in its final year in the league." Those revenues vary by school but are estimated between $8 million and $10 million annually.

Give Marinatto credit? Hard to do, but as you can see, he's being dragged through the mud by schools who clearly have one foot out the door. If schools like Louisville, West Virginia, UConn and Rutgers REALLY wanted to see the conference survive, they'd have no problem voting this exit fee. And you know the basketball schools wouldn't either (at least, we think they wouldn't).

Even funnier than Marinatto taking it on the chin from his 'loyal' members? The conference is discussing legal action against Syracuse and Pittsburgh. We're all pissed they left, but sour grapes much?

The story remains the same - you won't be able to attract high-level programs (Boise State) until you show some stability. Raising the exit fee to $20 million would do that. But with the football-schools eyeing an exit anywhere they can, they'll never sign off on it. All the while they preach loyalty and saving the conference. It's laughable.

Thoughts on this everyone?


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