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What Does Syracuse's Early Departure Mean for Pitt?

Syracuse is ACC-bound in 2013 (Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE)
Syracuse is ACC-bound in 2013 (Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE)

The big news today was the announcement by the Big East that the conference will let Syracuse leave in 2013 for a payment of $7.5 million. This agreement fell under the radar a bit - no one knew or really even thought that both sides were working towards a deal. I would have assumed that because the Big East had an interim commissioner, this matter would have waited until there was a permanent commissioner in place.

Regardless, now the watch turns towards Pittsburgh. The university filed a lawsuit against the Big East back in March to force the Big East to allow Pitt to leave for the ACC on July 1st, 2013. But since then, there hasn't been a whole lot of news out regarding the matter.

The lawsuit is likely holding up any potential conversations regarding Pitt's exit. But what should Pitt do in this scenario?

At first, I thought Pitt should just agree to drop the lawsuit in exchange for an equal buyout. Yes, Steve Pederson said that he wouldn't pay anymore than $5 million to leave the Big East. But an extra $2.5 million will easily be made up in the extra TV revenue Pitt will make by joining the ACC.

Yet I was reminded of something else. Pitt lost a lot of revenue because of conference realignment. A lot of revenue. Remember, TCU and West Virginia were both scheduled to come to Heinz Field in 2012. As we all know, they aren't. Will the difference be $2.5 million? No, but Pitt can easily argue that they should have to at least pay less than Syracuse due to the lost revenue.

Syracuse's move now all but guarantees Pitt is on the way out in 2013. It's now just a matter of time until Pitt announces a similar move.

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