Pittsburgh, Big East agree to terms regarding Panthers’ departure

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Just two days after the Big East Conference and Syracuse came to terms regarding SU’s departure to the ACC, the conference did the same with Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh will pay the conference $7.5 million, which will terminate their membership in the Big East on July 1, 2013 and allow them to join the ACC for the 2013-14 academic year.

“We have appreciated and enjoyed our membership in the Big East and wish them much success in the future,” said Pitt AD Steve Pederson in a statement released by the conference.

“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.”

The $7.5 million includes the $5 million withdrawal fee that is written in the Big East bylaws.

Given the fact that Pittsburgh sued the conference in May with an early departure in mind, it’s somewhat surprising that they were able to get the same terms as Syracuse.

In an interview with Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com, ACC commissioner John Swofford expressed his pleasure with the news of both schools being able to join in 2013.

“Today’s announcement that Pitt will be joining the ACC on July 1, 2013 is a terrific one,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said. “It’s exciting to know both Pitt and Syracuse will become playing members with the 2013-14 academic year.”

So this would be a good time to make plans for those 2013 Big East Championship ticket purchases if you haven’t already.

Regardless of how optimistic interim Big East commissioner Joe Bailey sounded in his statement today, things won’t be the same (it can be argued they haven’t been the same since the first round of realignment) after this March.

“This is another step for the Big East to take toward a very exciting future. With the addition of our eight new members, the Big East will be incredibly strong and vibrant,” said Bailey.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.