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February 9, 2012

Settlement reached?

After all kinds of drama that included the Big East making last-ditch efforts to lure Boise State and then Temple into the Big East for 2012-13, the Big East has agreed to accept West Virginia's nearly $20 million settlement and move on with seven teams for the 2012 football season, sources said.

A source close to the situation told Orangebloods.com on Friday the Big 12 is prepared to "loan" West Virginia up to half of the exit settlement. But the source said the loan would be "fully repaid" by WVU to the Big 12 over time.

Also, sources had indicated the Big 12 2012 football schedule could be released on Friday. But a source close to the situation said the 2012 Big 12 football schedule will NOT be released this week because it's still being finalized.

After a court hearing Thursday in Providence, R.I., the Big East was prepared to file suit against the Big 12 if West Virginia left the Big East without the Big East having an eighth football team for the 2012 season.

But with a Friday morning deadline looming for the Big East to either accept West Virginia's offer to pay nearly $20 million in exit fees or go to trial, the Big East blinked and has agreed to accept the payout from West Virginia and move on with a seven-team football schedule for 2012, sources said.

Over the past 48 hours, the Big East was trying to get Boise State and then Temple to enter into the conference for the 2012-13 school year instead of the 2013-14 school year, sources said.

Without an eighth team for football, the Big East was threatening to sue the Big 12 for damages because of its TV contractual obligations, sources said. The sources said the Big East was even considering using some of the money being promised by West Virginia in exit fees as financial incentives to entice either Boise or Temple into the Big East one year early.

But Big East officials decided Thursday night to simply take West Virginia's settlement offer of just under $20 million (to get out of a contractual obligation to wait 27 months to exit the Big East) and simply move on with seven schools (Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida and Syracuse).

Big 12 sources said the 2012 Big 12 football schedule will be released Friday with West Virginia as a member of the conference.

Orangebloods.com has been reporting for weeks that both West Virginia and TCU will play in Austin in 2012 - with TCU as Texas' Thanksgiving night opponent.

Oklahoma is expected to play at West Virginia in 2012. TCU will also play at West Virginia, according to sources.



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