I'm thinking back to when Dave Gavitt came up with the 8 + 8 Big East concept, back in 2003, when Miami, Va. Tech, then BC left for the ACC.
And the rules about "vesting" of the NCAA tournament BB "Units" came up.
Basically, the money a school earns in NCAA tournament is in "units"
(1 for making the "64", 1 more for making the "32", 1 more for making the "Sweet 16", 1 more for the "Elite 8".... )
This money is doled out by the NCAA over approx. 6 years.
My understanding was that back in 2003, when the Big East received the money from the NCAA, they immediately paid the school.
However money earned in the 2003 tournament would be paid out in 2004, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09...
And when Miami, Va. Tech left officially on July 1, 2004, they were forced to leave the 05-09 money behind in the BE.
I don't hink this wa a big deal, since neaither had done anything in the NCAA BB tourney.
BC left the following year, and DID have to leave money behind.
My recollection (and I could be wrong as far as what made it into their by-laws, etc.) is that right after that Mike Tranghese and the new 16 changed the vesting, so that
when NCAA turney money was earned, all of that money (including future payments) became the property of the school, starting in 2004 or 2005.
This new rule was phased in.
So by 2010, the Big East had paid out all the money earned from the 2003 or 2004 tourney, and by 2010 all new money received from the NCAA was property of the school,
and not the BE no longer had any rights to retain it.
So I'm surprised to hear this being an obstacle at this point.
Another point - back around 2005, a bunch of meeting minutes became public, relating to the reorganization of the Big East ater teh 3 defections.
Mike Tranghese gave an interview, and was asked specifically about the BE splitting at some point, along FB and non-FB lines.
He said soething to the effect "I have a document in my office, that the league members ae free to review, which describes how such a split will work."
Which sounded somewhat secretive... But when the league went to 8 + 8, it was set up with provisions for splitting into 2 conferences.
So, I'm thinking that the 7 BB schools, UConn, Cincy, and USF SHOULD KNOW what those provisions are... or their lawyers really didn't perform their "due dilignence".
If the league were to dissolve, another concern is "how are all these entrance and exit fees dealt with" ? THAT may be the money that will be forfeited !!!