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West Virginia’s Big East Exit May Cost $20 Million, CBSSports Says

West Virginia University may have to pay at least $20 million to leave the Big East Conference, reported, citing unidentified people in college football.

To exit for the Big 12 conference in 2012 and potentially lower the fee, West Virginia is trying to persuade a future Big East member to join this year instead of 2013, the sports network reported.

The University of Memphis yesterday said it will join the Big East for all sports beginning with the 2013-14 academic year.

Memphis joins the Providence, Rhode Island-based Big East two weeks after the U.S. Naval Academy said it would join the conference in football as of 2015. Memphis’s addition will give the conference 11 football teams until Navy begins play, one short of the 12 teams necessary under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules to hold a conference title game.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced their departure from the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference in September, followed by West Virginia’s announcement it will join the Big 12. The Big East responded by adding Navy, Boise State and San Diego State for football, as well as Southern Methodist, Central Florida, Houston and Memphis for all sports. All those schools, except Navy, are scheduled to join in 2013.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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