Mountaineers on way to Big 12
By Carlos Pineda
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After months of fighting, West Virginia and the Big East Conference have finally come to an agreement.
The Charleston Daily Mail reported Thursday night that West Virginia and the Big East have reached a conditional agreement that would allow the Mountaineers to join the Big 12 in time for the upcoming season by paying a "cash settlement" of $11 million to defect from the league it has been a member of since 1991 (football-only until 1995 when they became a full member). The announcement could come as early as Friday.
Also reported, the Big 12 would pay the remaining amount of the settlement which could total $20 million.
With the loss of West Virginia, the Big East is trying to persuade Boise State to join the league a year earlier than it was expected to in order replace the loss of the Mountaineers on the schedule. The Big East will have seven football schools when WVU officially joins the Big 12.
Inclusive in the $11 million fee is: $5 million Big East exit fee, Boise State's $5 million buyout fee and $1 million to match what each Big 12 school is paying.
Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and SMU join the Big East as full members in 2013, with Boise State and San Diego State set to join as football-only members that same year. Navy would join as a football-only program in 2015.
Pittsburgh and Syracuse are scheduled to join the ACC as full members in 2014.
According to reports, the Big 12 is expected to release its 2012 conference schedule in the coming days with West Virginia included. Likely finished with the Big East, the Mountaineers are leaving in style. They capped off last year with a conference crown and a nationally-televised blowout victory over ACC champion Clemson the Orange Bowl.