Of the $10 million to $11 million the school will pay the league, $2.5 million was paid in October as half of the required $5 million exit fee. Much of the remainder will be in the form of revenue sharing money owed WVU for the current school year by the league that now will not be paid.
As for the Big 12's portion of the payment, about half of that is expected to be returned to the league by WVU in the form of reduced revenue sharing.
West Virginia is already on a gradual revenue sharing track with the Big 12 as part of its membership agreement. The school will receive a 50 percent share in the first year, rising to 67 percent in the second year, 85 percent in the third year and 100 percent in the fourth year. Any amount that must be repaid to the Big 12 likely won't be deducted until that fourth year.
Still, even the 50 percent share in the first year is expected to be in the same ballpark as the approximate $7 million WVU now receives from the Big East. The Big 12 annually gives about $18-19 million in revenue shares to its members.
"That's well over $10 million [above] what the Big East is paying out,'' Luck said. "Where those [numbers] will move in the next three or four years I'm not sure, but I think the point here for us is that it's a very healthy television payout. It's important that we maintain our self-sufficient status and I think with this move to the Big 12 we'll be in an excellent position to do so.''
Luck said that while the first few years of membership might be a tight financial fit for the school's athletic department, given the reduced Big 12 payouts and the money owed to the Big East, it will not be a significant strain. In fact, the school might still wind up making money at the front end of the Big 12 membership.
"I can't tell you when [membership will become more profitable] because we've not looked at those numbers very closely,'' Luck said. "But we will be in very strong financial shape through the first couple of years, as well as when we get into years three and four and [then] see the full payout.''
Luck also made it a point several times to say that no state or taxpayer funds, tuition or academic support monies will be used to pay the settlement. The money needed to cover any shortfalls due to the Big East withholding its revenue sharing for this year will, he said, come from private donations through the Mountaineer Athletic Club and through normal athletic department revenues.
As for the Big East, its statement on the matter was that the league's board of directors "has voted to terminate West Virginia University's membership in the conference, effective June 30, 2012. This vote is conditioned on WVU fulfilling its obligations under a settlement agreement with the conference that resolves the litigation between the parties.''
Additionally, as part of the settlement, the suit WVU filed in Monongalia County will be dismissed and a judgment is to be entered that the Big East's bylaws are valid and enforceable. Without that judgment the league would presumably open itself to other schools simply buying their way out of the conference as did West Virginia.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.