Big East Settles With Texas Christian U

     FORT WORTH (CN) – The Big East Conference settled a dispute with Texas Christian University over a $5 million exit fee it said TCU owed for reneging on joining the conference and going to the Big 12 instead.
     The Big East filed notice of dismissal with prejudice this week in District of Columbia Federal Court.
     It sued the Fort Worth-based school in June for breach of contract.
     TCU had agreed to join Providence-based Big East on Nov. 29, 2010, and to compete as a full member of the conference starting this month.
     On Oct. 11, 2011, however, TCU reneged and accepted an invitation to join the Irving, Texas-based Big 12.
     The Big East said TCU refused to pay the exit fee.
     “At a press conference announcing that TCU would instead join the Big 12, TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte publicly acknowledged TCU’s contractual obligation to compensate the Big East for its refusal to join the conference,” the complaint stated.
     The loss of TCU was only one of the Big East’s many problems. On Sept. 17, 2011, Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh announced their intention to leave the Big East for the Athletic Coast Conference; the ACC accepted them the next day.
     Weeks later, Big East member West Virginia University accepted an invitation to join the Big 12.
     The Big East had since sued West Virginia and Pitt, seeking to enforce conference bylaws that require 27 months notice before a school can leave, among other things.
     But the Big East announced this week that it had settled its claims against Pitt and Syracuse, with each school agreeing to pay a $7.5 million exit fee and the Big East agreeing to their departure on July 1, 2013.

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