Big East, Syracuse University reach agreement on Syracuse departure for Atlantic Coast conference

The Big East Conference and Syracuse University announced Monday that both organizations have reached an agreement on Syracuse’s departure from the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), effective July 1, 2013.

With this agreement, the Big East has agreed to waive its 27-month exit window, allowing the Orange to join the ACC early. In addition to other considerations, Syracuse will make a total payment of $7.5 million to the Big East.

“We look forward to the new academic and athletic partnerships and the extraordinary competitive opportunities that membership in the ACC offers,” said Dr. Darryl Gross, Syracuse athletics director, in a statement. “We are excited about both our final season in the Big East and our long-term future with the ACC.”

Syracuse was one of two Big East schools to originally announce their intent to leave the conference for the ACC last September. Pittsburgh also announced it would leave the Big East but like Syracuse, was required to abide by the league’s bylaws and stay in the Big East for the next two years. Given the Big East’s agreement with Syracuse, it is expected the conference will also waive the 27-month exit window for Pitt.

The Big East also approved West Virginia’s early withdrawal to the Big 12 this summer after the school reportedly paid an exit fee of $20 million following the filing to dueling lawsuits.

Agreeing to terms with Syracuse and Pittsburgh early will clear the way for incoming schools next summer. Central Florida, Houston, SMU and Memphis will join the Big East as all-sports members, while Boise State and San Diego State will join as football-only schools for the 2013 season. Temple football will play in the Big East this upcoming season and the rest of its sports will follow suit in 2013. Navy becomes a football-only program in 2015.

“This closes a chapter and opens a new one filled with exciting possibilities for the Big East’s future,” said Big East interim commissioner Joe Bailey in a statement. “With the recent addition of eight schools to the Big East, the future for the conference has never been brighter.”