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Friday, October 28, 2011
West Virginia, Big 12 talk partnership details

By David Ubben

Officials from the Big 12 and West Virginia met with reporters via teleconference late Friday afternoon. Here's a bit of what we learned.

Big East/West Virginia disagree on exit terms

As noted today, the Big East (27 months, or January 2014) and West Virginia (July 2012) have a clear disagreement on when the Mountaineers will become members of the Big 12.

"As of July 1, we will be members of the Big 12. Our team and their team are in discussions about how we can make that happen," West Virginia president James Clements said.

As required in the bylaws, West Virginia wired a $2.5 million payment to the Big East upon notification of withdrawal, and the other $2.5 million exit fee is paid upon exit date.

The school also plans to grant its Tier I and Tier II media rights to the Big 12 as the league's other members, excluding Missouri and Texas A&M, have done. The paperwork to do so is being circulated to the school, and Clements said the school should have it officially OK'd around Tuesday.

TCU and West Virginia on same revenue-sharing plan

There will be no difference in how Big 12 Conference revenue is shared between the league's founding members and its new members, who both plan on entering the league in 2012.

"It's similar; it's the same," said Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported earlier this month that TCU would earn  50 percent of the expected $17 million payout in the 2012-13 academic year, 67 percent in 2013-14, 84 percent in 2014-15, and 100 percent in 2015-16.

Future schedules in flux

Don't expect TCU to replace Texas A&M in the Big 12 schedule, and don't expect West Virginia to slide in and replace Missouri if the Tigers' exit to the Big 12 is finalized.

Neinas says the conference won't be starting from scratch, but it's likely that changes to the 10-team, round-robin conference schedule will be made.

No official word on Missouri

Neinas offered no real updates on the status of Missouri, which was excluded from the Big 12 release on Friday that stated "Beginning with the 2012-13 season it is expected that the Big 12 Conference will be comprised of 10 Universities – Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia."

"Until it withdraws, Missouri is a member of the Big 12," Neinas said.

He deferred any questions about timing or details to Missouri officials.

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