One of the many questions remaining for the league formerly known as the Big East is how to divvy up over $100 million set to come in from exit fees, entrance fees and other revenues.
UCF athletic director Todd Stansbury told The Orlando Sentinel that there has yet to be a discussion about how to divide up the finances, but there is no question this is going to be a tricky -- and potentially sticky situation. You have three long-standing members in USF, Cincinnati and UConn who have taken a bigger hit than any other team that will be in this league.
You have Temple, which rejoined in 2012. You have UCF, Memphis, SMU and Houston set to join on July 1. You have East Carolina, Tulane and Navy, set to join in the coming years.
And you have a future television contract that is not as big as some athletic directors had hoped.
Quite a quandary.
So how, then, to divide up the money? I am no mathematician, nor do I have any bias toward any of these schools. I am looking for the fairest way to split up the cash. Having said that, here is what I would do if I was in a position of power.
USF, Cincinnati and UConn would get more money than the others. That should be the most equitable solution, considering that these three schools have been members of the league the longest, and were a part of the league when Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia and TCU all announced their departures. Those defections started the Big East toward the path it is on today. I think it is most fair to allow USF, Cincinnati and UConn to divide up the $40 million in fees owed by the four departed schools.
That leaves somewhere between $60-70 million to be divided among all 11 current or incoming institutions. I think the fairest way is to devise a formula giving members who have been around longer more money. Therefore, East Carolina and Tulane should move to the bottom of the list. They joined the latest, in November. UCF, Memphis, SMU, Houston and Navy all joined with the idea this league would have Rutgers, San Diego State, Boise State and Louisville in the fold. They should be compensated more. Temple should get a little bit more, because it played in the league in 2012. Cincinnati, UConn and USF deserve a little more than that.
While I understand the incoming schools will not want to give the elder statesmen much of a financial advantage, these three schools have suffered the most. And I believe they will fight hard to obtain more of the money than some of the newer programs.
For those interested, Stansbury is on the six-member panel that will decide how to split the fees with representatives from Cincinnati, UConn, USF, Memphis and SMU. You have all three old guard and three new guard. I would love to be a fly on the wall in those meetings!