Cost Of Changing Conferences Goes Beyond Exit Fees For Notre Dame, Big 12 Defectors
The Univ. of Notre Dame in its move to the ACC "will contend with logistical challenges in everything from scheduling to travel to signage in a process that could cost $20 million, just to start," according to Brian Hamilton of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. When choosing to change conferences, schools "clearly figure it's worth it to ensure the future and eventually recoup their initial investment." The Univ. of Missouri this year moved from the Big 12 to the SEC, and AD Mike Alden said, "It has been a hefty undertaking from a time-on-task standpoint, as far as time and effort is concerned. That has been a challenge for a lot of people. It also can be tough emotionally." Hamilton noted MU "forfeited $14.1 million in revenue distribution that represented its Big 12 exit fee." Also, the school's travel budget "increased by $800,000," and signage changes involving "everything from SEC patches for uniforms to tearing up FieldTurf at the football stadium ... added roughly another $1.5 million to the tab." Alden said, "In total, you're probably looking somewhere between, I would guess, $17 (million) to $20 million to be able to make a change." Hamilton noted that is "merely the financial investment." Time and effort "outlay might exceed that." Texas A&M this year also moved from the Big 12 to the SEC, and AD Eric Hyman said of scheduling issues, "It's a work in progress, and there's still choppy weather ahead." He added, "There are still some nuances we have to work through. It's a spirit of cooperation. It's some of the sacrifices you have to make when you make a transition. There are sacrifices by some of the schools in the SEC and sacrifices by Texas A&M" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/7).