Pittsburgh Will Pay $7.5 Million to Leave Big East, Join ACC

The University of Pittsburgh’s athletic programs will join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013 after agreeing to pay the Big East Conference a $7.5 million cash buyout.

Syracuse University and the Big East reached the same agreement three days ago. Both Pittsburgh and Syracuse accepted invitations to the ACC in September.

The Big East typically requires schools to pay a $5 million exit fee and give 27-month notice before leaving. As part of the agreement, Big East members will vote to terminate the membership of Pittsburgh and Syracuse effective July 1, 2013.

“We have appreciated and enjoyed our membership in the Big East and wish them much success in the future,” Pittsburgh Athletic Director Steve Pederson said. “We are anxious to compete in our final season in the Big East and look forward to an exciting future in the Atlantic Coast Conference.”

In addition to losing Pitt and Syracuse, the Big East had Texas Christian University and West Virginia depart for the Big 12 conference. The Big East yesterday dropped a lawsuit against TCU, which left before it ever played a game in the league.

The conference offset those losses by adding eight new members. Temple University will join this year. The University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston, Boise State University and San Diego State University will join in 2013, and the U.S. Naval Academy will be added in 2015.

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