The specifics are still being worked out, but UConn, Cincinnati and South Florida should have some extra pocket change soon.
Between exit fees and NCAA tournament “units,” the Big East should have approximately $100 million to hand out, according to Mark Blaudschun of AJerseyGuy.com. Blaudschun estimated that each of the three schools should receive a paycheck of $18-25 million.
He cited sources saying the Big East has presented a lump sum of $10-15 million in NCAA tournament “units” to the Catholic Seven. Of course, the two sides are still negotiating. ESPN reported that the Big East will also sell its name to the Catholic Seven, and that figure — still unknown — was not part of Blaudshun’s estimated $18-25 million payout.
There is no set date for distribution of exit fee/NCAA tournament “unit” money, according to a Big East official.
Say UConn takes $25-30 million total. That helps offset its lackluster TV deal for the next few years. It’s unclear, though, if UConn would retain all of that money if its leaves for a new conference in the near future (the Big East would not comment).
My take: There’s no reason for UConn, Cincinnati and South Florida to give in to the Catholic Seven. Drag this thing out as long as possible and give them as little as possible. The three remaining Big East schools have all the leverage. They have all the time in the world and absolutely no reason to do anything but rip the Catholic Seven off. If you’re UConn, you make as much money as you can here and continue actively pursuing other long-term options.