February 29th, 2012 09:41 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Tags: Brady Deaton, Fox Sports, John Sharp, SEC
Over the weekend, it was announced that the Big 12 office, Missouri and Texas A&M had agreed on upon those schools’ exit fees from the league. All that was left was for the individual Big 12 members to OK the deal. Now that’s been taken care of and the league announced last evening that the conference and the departing schools had agreed upon a fee of $12,410,000 per school.
Only there’s still not a real agreement on what the payment will be. At least not from Texas A&M’s perspective. More on that in a second.
The Big 12′s release regarding Missouri reads as follows:
“The Conference will withhold an estimated $12,410,000 from the revenues otherwise distributable to the University. In addition, Missouri agreed that it would waive any claim to any of the benefits received by the Big 12 Conference from its television contract with Fox Sports, schedule to commence July 1, 2012. Also, Missouri agreed to pay the Big 12 Conference for its share of the actual coast of officiating expenses for 2011-12 athletic year as it has done in previous years, in the approximate amount of $500,000.”
The Big 12′s release regarding Texas A&M is worded this way:
“The Conference will withhold an estimated $12,410,000 from Texas A&M’s projected distribution for fiscal year 2012. However, the parties agreed that A&M will receive a portion of the benefit received by the Big 12 Conference from the signing of its television contract with Fox Sports, scheduled to commence July 1, 2012, and certain other concessions.”
The difference: A&M will get a portion of the 2012 TV revenue bump from Fox (and other concessions) while Mizzou will not.
Does this mean A&M officials were better at the negotiating table than Missouri officials? We suspect not. Surely A&M, Missouri and SEC lawyers were all studying the same documents. It’s more likely that timing was the key issue on this front. A&M got the ball rolling on its move to the SEC sooner (announcing on August 31st), while MU didn’t make its departure official until November 6th. Mizzou also turned down a last ditch effort to stay in the league for one more season.
Either way, the fees — a combined $25 million — are a lot smaller than the $25-30 million per school numbers that were trotted out early in the negotiations. At $12.41 million a piece, the fees are a bit steeper than those paid out by Colorado ($6.86 million) and Nebraska ($9.255 million) who exited the Big 12 last year.
But that’s where there’s still some disagreement from A&M. The Aggies said yesterday that their buyout from the Big 12 will actually be $9.31 million — not $12.41 million — which is much closer to Nebraska’s number. The $3 million difference? “Direct payments from the NCAA, bowl payouts, conference office expenses and officiating reimbursements.” In other words, the “certain other concessions” mentioned in the Big 12′s release.
Both schools are delighted to have the Big 12 negotiations behind them.
“Texas A&M’s move to the SEC increases the university’s geographic footprint and will bring national recognition to this great institution, which it certainly deserves,” A&M system chancellor John Sharp said via press release. “We look forward to the increased exposure that the SEC will provide Texas A&M, not only in athletics but also in teaching and research.”
“We are pleased to have these issues resolved, and we wish the Big 12 and its continuing members the best in the future,” Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton said via release.
The only question remaining: How will the schools handle the loss of $9 million in one case and $12 million in the other while they shift from the Big 12 to the SEC this year? For starters, we’ve already seen ticket price hikes at both schools. How else might the schools work to recoup those losses?
Regardless of the details of the buyouts, Mike Slive can now officially welcome A&M’s R. Bowen Loftin and MU’s Brady Deaton to the SEC with a laurel and hearty handshake.
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