SBD/November 14, 2013/Colleges

Louisville, American Agree To Exit Terms Allowing For ACC Membership In '14-15

UL's deal included a "good faith" clause to schedule games with AAC schools
The Univ. of Louisville and the American Athletic Conference yesterday announced that they have "reached an agreement to allow" the school to leave the conference and join the ACC on July 1, 2014, according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. The agreement, by "all accounts considered an easily negotiated parting of ways, is the final roadblock" UL needed to change conferences. The school "originally agreed to a two-year membership deal" with the AAC. UL will pay $11M "in exit fees" to the AAC, $5M of which the school has already paid. Part of the settlement "also includes a 'good faith' clause that encourages the Cardinals’ football and men’s and women’s basketball teams to try to schedule American opponents through 'at least' the 2017 season." Additionally, if Rutgers Univ.'s exit fee to leave the AAC "is lower" than $11M, the AAC would "return the difference" of UL's $11M payment (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 11/14). Former Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said that UL was "able to negotiate a lower amount" because AD Tom Jurich, as required by the league's bylaws, informed him and USF President Judy Genshaft in October '11 that the school "would leave the league in 27 months." ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy noted UL and West Virginia in '11 were "both trying to get into the Big 12, and Jurich told Marinatto that if Louisville wasn't successful, the Cardinals would pursue other options" (ESPN.com, 11/13).
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