Pitt reaches agreement to leave Big East early

8:04 PM, Jul 18, 2012   |    comments
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Providence, RI (Sports Network) - Pittsburgh and the Big East have worked out terms of a deal that will allow the University to join the Atlantic Coast Conference a year early.

Last September, the ACC announced that Syracuse and Pittsburgh agreed to join the league. Big East bylaws stated that the schools had to abide by a 27-month notification period for departure, but the new deal will allow Pitt to terminate Big East membership on July 1, 2013.

Syracuse made a similar pact with the Big East earlier this week, and both schools will make a cash payment of $7.5 million to the conference.

"We have appreciated and enjoyed our membership in the Big East and wish them much success in the future," Pitt 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."

The Big East, which also lost West Virginia to the Big 12, said they are ready to move on as well.

Temple will rejoin the league in football this fall and will become a full conference member for 2013-14. Boise State and San Diego State were added as football-only members with Memphis, Central Florida, Houston and SMU joining for all sports starting in 2013-14. Navy will also join for football in 2015.

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

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