Mark Nordenberg and Steve Pederson will need to reach into the University's pockets to pay the Big East exit fee (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
When Pitt paid $7.5 million to get out of Big East early, one of the questions was if the ACC would be chipping in. According to commissioner John Swofford last week, that isn't the case.
Syracuse and Pitt announced separate agreements last week to pay $7.5 million apiece to leave the Big East for the ACC after this season, and Swofford said Sunday that the ACC wouldn’t help either school with those payments.
But when you think about it, it's really not a huge deal because Pitt is due to receive a significant amount of money starting in 2013:
Pitt’s move from the Big East to the ACC will more than triple the Panthers’ annual TV revenue to $17 million from less than $5 million, covering the added cost of switching conferences 17 months early.
“When you look at where we are going and the financial impact of this,” Pederson said Thursday, “you can almost just look at the television contract alone and know literally in a very short period of time, probably within the first year, we will be able to make up the difference and get this taken care of.”
I've often stated that if Pitt wanted to force the Big East's hand to lower the fee to get out, they easily could have done so. The conference simply wouldn't have wanted Pitt to walk without paying an early exit fee and had the school committed to staying until 2014, they could have avoided the early exit fee. But when you think about it, the benefit of getting the ACC payday a bit earlier was worth getting out early.