CINCINNATI - Published reports that the University of Cincinnati stands to gain up to $30 million in payments from the unraveling of the Big East Conference are “in the neighborhood,” but the exact amount is not yet known, UC Athletic Director Whit Babcock told WCPO Digital Thursday.
“Of the funds that are or become available, an eight-figure amount will come off the top to pay legal fees, consultants, TV contract negotiators, etc. that have been incurred by the Big East over the past few years,” Babcock wrote in an email response to our inquiries. The money “will be distributed over a five to seven-year period in accordance with a percentage or formula that is in process of being developed. We will know much more by the end of this fiscal year.” UC's fiscal year ends June 30.
Published reports have estimated UC will get anywhere from $10 million to $30 million from the departure of Catholic schools from the Big East, which will join with Xavier University to launch a new conference that keeps the Big East name. The money comes from an estimated $100 million fund created by schools that left or plan to leave the conference. Babcock said some of those payments are still being negotiated or they're tied up in litigation.
UC, Connecticut and South Florida stand to gain the most from the separation, according to Sportswriter Mark Blaudschun , a USA Today contributor.
Babcock said UC will use future Big East distributions to cover its declining television revenue. The shrinking conference has a new TV deal that will deliver up to $2 million less to UC, he said. Asked whether UC can use the money for a Nippert Stadium expansion, Babcock said:
“Some of it could make its way into pay for design fees, hypothetically. But as of now, these funds would not go to the Nippert project, but to supplement our overall budget and scholarship funding, which we have a desire to increase in our Olympic sports.”
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