USM leaving CUSA Early

Blue Raider Lightning

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To add it the legal complications,

1) Does it go to a federal or state court? If it's state, then you're looking at 3 different cases in the HOME state.
2) The possibility the schools could be granted sovereign immunity.

There will be lawyers.

But it's telling the SBC is saying "we didn't expect you to join until 2023." Is that to avoid a 3rd lawsuit between CUSA and SBC? Who knows?
First off, what a total mess. But I myself find it hard to believe that the Sun Belt didn't know about this. I think they are and were fully aware of these three schools intent to come in 2022. That said, maybe they were led to believe that CUSA was going to allow it but no way would these three make an announcement without knowing the Sun Belt was expecting them.
 

Brew_Raider

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To add it the legal complications,

1) Does it go to a federal or state court? If it's state, then you're looking at 3 different cases in the HOME state.
2) The possibility the schools could be granted sovereign immunity.

There will be lawyers.

But it's telling the SBC is saying "we didn't expect you to join until 2023." Is that to avoid a 3rd lawsuit between CUSA and SBC? Who knows?

This is going to get nasty.
Article here
 

sWiley

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CUSA needs to let it go IMO. The 3 schools leaving have all agreed to pay their full exit fee's (About $3 million per school) so it's not like they are skimping on exit fee's.

It's just not worth it. As the article said, it's not a good look for a conference to be suing universities. Might make it harder to attract future members if they see CUSA is a lawsuit happy conference. CUSA made a mistake here by not having explicit penalties attached to breaking the 14 month clause. Live and learn.

If they were smart, they would just try to squeeze a little more $$$ out of each school for leaving early and just let it go. We will be fine with 11 schools for 2022-2023 season though it might effect football championship game (Anyone know the required number of teams for a championship game?)
 
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MidTennMtneer

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Championship games require 10 teams. Divisions however require 12. Pretty sure that's how it is....ie Big12. I don't know how many conference games the SBC plays and how they would do theirs. Probably easier to fix CUSA schedules than theirs.

Schedules could probably be maneuvered to just play other CUSA teams. LAT instead of USM etc. One rumor was to go to an 11 game schedule as well this year.

You would think CUSA could say, ok. Each of you pay 2mil more and call it a day, but who knows.
 

sWiley

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That's my thinking. They are leaving so who cares if it's this year or next?

Siphon as much money as possible out of them, send them on their way, and delete their number out of your phone.

Then go recruit better schools and start kicking ass on the gridiron and hardwood.
 

blueraiderJT

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The SBC did not have schedules adjusted or ready to adjust for them to come over early so it doesn't matter. What does that say? We have your back until you really need us to have your back. We should call them on it. Everyone agreed to 2023 and then these schools get a wild hair ro jump early. You get what you get.
 

blueraiderJT

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Championship games require 10 teams. Divisions however require 12. Pretty sure that's how it is....ie Big12. I don't know how many conference games the SBC plays and how they would do theirs. Probably easier to fix CUSA schedules than theirs.

Schedules could probably be maneuvered to just play other CUSA teams. LAT instead of USM etc. One rumor was to go to an 11 game schedule as well this year.

You would think CUSA could say, ok. Each of you pay 2mil more and call it a day, but who knows.
They can't leave now anyway. The SBC already released their schedules and they are not going to tear all of that apart to make space for these teams who already agreed to leave in 2023. The SBC is just as complicit in this as they say Judy is. First of all, Judy is reactionary. She has never once been proactive. The SBC had their scheduling first and then she penciled them in. There is nothing that could convince me otherwise. Everyone is saying it's sour grapes but the SBC led this move not Judy.
 

MidTennMtneer

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SBC schedule isn't out yet, is it? I'm sure it's done but I mean publicly released. Either way you are probably right and they are saying that they didnt know to protect themselves.

But I 100000% agree that Judy is reactionary. She absolutely doesn't have a vision or know how to achieve it.
 

blueraiderJT

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SBC schedule isn't out yet, is it? I'm sure it's done but I mean publicly released. Either way you are probably right and they are saying that they didnt know to protect themselves.

But I 100000% agree that Judy is reactionary. She absolutely doesn't have a vision or know how to achieve it.
All of the SBC team's schedules are pretty much set. They could still alter them but I don't know why they would since it's nearly March. App st would have an open date then since Marshall is one of their OOC games. It's a mess that could have been avoided.
 
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What strange times we are in. MT and cusa seem to be making one poor decision after another. More money, or lawsuits? Seems pretty dang simple to me.
 

Brew_Raider

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All of the SBC team's schedules are pretty much set. They could still alter them but I don't know why they would since it's nearly March. App st would have an open date then since Marshall is one of their OOC games. It's a mess that could have been avoided.
According to Ross Dellenger, there’s a good chance the SB includes the 3 teams in their conference schedule:

 

Brew_Raider

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Every article I have seen said this is unprecedented. Schools have left conferences early before, but usually a settlement is reached. There has never been an instance where a school is forced to remain or it ended in litigation. The fact that sports lawyers are saying they don’t know how this divorce will end is really telling. A total mess.
 

DisgruntledAlum

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"The three schools have agreed to pay their contractual exit fee for leaving the league, which is two years’ worth of revenue distribution (roughly $1.5 million). "

That blurb in the article is disturbing, just 1.5M for two years? Holy crap...

If they pay it and go on, does the remaining schools, particularly the ones off to AAC, get a share?
 

JohnDavidBlue

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"The three schools have agreed to pay their contractual exit fee for leaving the league, which is two years’ worth of revenue distribution (roughly $1.5 million). "

That blurb in the article is disturbing, just 1.5M for two years? Holy crap...

If they pay it and go on, does the remaining schools, particularly the ones off to AAC, get a share?
That’s what I keep thinking. Disturbing. At the end of the day, you have to the member institutions while maintaining a level of professionalism.

You have three schools who want to break their contract because there are no repercussions to do so. But yet, if they do, our schedules are wonky. So there is fallout. It’s not as simple as letting them go without a price.


  • Conference USA bylaws require schools give the conference 14-months notice before exiting.
 
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MT01

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"The three schools have agreed to pay their contractual exit fee for leaving the league, which is two years’ worth of revenue distribution (roughly $1.5 million). "

That blurb in the article is disturbing, just 1.5M for two years? Holy crap...

If they pay it and go on, does the remaining schools, particularly the ones off to AAC, get a share?

That article is misleading in some respects. It's $1.5M for each year so $3M total but the actual number amount is different, because 1) the actual amount vacated is different per school and b) that figure ($1.5M per year) is the lowest of the range. C-USA distributes revenues based on various metrics and it's not an equal revenue distribution for each member. So, USM, for example has averaged about just that number - $1.5M per year - over the past few years. Marshall, on the other hand hand, has averaged about $2.3M per year over the last few years. So, the bottom line is regardless of what that number is that's being reported it boils down to this. Total revenues divided by the five remaining schools.

Which should answer your second question. None of those schools leaving for the AAC receive any revenue distribution this year or next.

I've run these numbers roughly for all of you before here on the board but will briefly here again just to get back to the bottom line. C-USA annually distributes revenues to members in the range of roughly $40M to $45M. And I can't say factually if revenues will decrease if those three leave but let's assume C-USA only produces revenues of $35M over the next two years each. That $70M would be distributed to the remaining five unequally - because as I mentioned C-USA - distributes based on various performance metrics. But roughly it would be about $14M for each of the five over the next two distribution cycles assuming the degradation in revenue only falls by $5 to $10M. Now, it's possible after the other six leave revenues go way down, so maybe it's less. We'll just have to wait and see but whatever all nine of those schools would have earned this year and next will instead be split among the five holdovers.

Again, this why I advocated for staying in the near term while we look toward building for a future opportunity:
1) This increased revenue haul helps the facilities needs (hopefully)
2) MAC tried to trap us into a long term grant of rights eliminating future options
3) Northern-based conference bad for recruiting, fans, etc.
4) Realignment not over. Positions us better (hopefully) for whatever happens next.
 

Brew_Raider

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Holy cow on the state university sovereign immunity claims and protection under the 11th amendment. I had never heard about that before Space posted this. Read some legal reviews on it….universities can get away with a LOT.

The arbitration request will be interesting as well. Each state has different laws around acceptance of changes.

It’s very possible that each school has different outcomes because of differences in state laws.
 

MidTennMtneer

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So Marshall is saying they aren't bound by the current contract because it wasn't what they signed.

Surely there was a provision in there something to the effect of "if you accept conference revenue you are accepting terms of a modified contract". Surely.
 

MidTennMtneer

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Holy cow on the state university sovereign immunity claims and protection under the 11th amendment. I had never heard about that before Space posted this. Read some legal reviews on it….universities can get away with a LOT.

The arbitration request will be interesting as well. Each state has different laws around acceptance of changes.

It’s very possible that each school has different outcomes because of differences in state laws.

I can guarantee you if the State of WV has any say, Marshall will get what they want. The President of Marshall is the former CEO of Inuit, and a Marshall grad. Intuit has a huge office in my town that employs several hundred. And he is best friends with the Governor, also a Marshall grad.

As the world turns.....money and power speak in stuff like this. Things like this are ripe for backroom deals.
 

Brew_Raider

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So Marshall is saying they aren't bound by the current contract because it wasn't what they signed.

Surely there was a provision in there something to the effect of "if you accept conference revenue you are accepting terms of a modified contract". Surely.
In a lot of states, depending on the contract/agreement, it comes down to if you were aware of the change and how long it has been after the change before you challenge it.

That is the case in TN with property easements.
Time can matter in a case, assuming you were made aware of the change correctly.
 
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ewglenn

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I had no skin in the game when the last round of realignment went down but I feel like most people thought CUSA messed up. The markets theory was dumb then and it is dumb now. AAC whiffed this go around imo. MTSU and WKU were good adds for CUSA but Charlotte, ODU, FIU and UTSA were terrible additions (even though UTSA is showing life). App was a winner and a no brainer imo. I wasn’t big on CCU and still am not. The AAC should have gone after App, ULL, Marshall, UAB, FAU and one other for this round. Then fill in the gaps if two more leave.
 
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MidTennMtneer

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It is so dumb. Us and the Belt. The map they have, the conference logo is literally in the only empty spot, which is literally over top of MT and WKU. We would fit geographically, culture wise, $ wise. And it would put an end to CUSA essentially and I really thing be stable for many many years. I really don't think the next AAC deal is going to command as much. It'll be much more G5(4) than "P6".

I pushed for MAC because I thought it better than CUSA. But I 100% believe the SBC fits us better. But sadly that bridge is burned I'm afraid.
 

arg3b

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I think MT01 is right that realignment isn’t over. I think we are just waiting for the power conferences to become the 16 team super conferences, then the domino's will start falling again. I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear discussions why the SBC REALLY didn’t invite us or especially WKU. I get MT is pretty stagnant right now, but hopefully the facility upgrades will jumpstart athletics again. WKU has been a top performer in CUSA, and very surprised the SBC chose ODU over WKU. Really, the SBC brought in some deadweight with So Miss and ODU. I’m glad we didn’t go to the MAC. It’s stable, sure, but I have no interest in playing northern based schools with worse facilities than ours on Wednesday nights
 

MidTennMtneer

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I read an article today (granted rumors and "insiders" but interesting none the less. That the B10 knew the Alliance was for show and that the B10 and SEC would come together for a champion. Big dreaming there but sadly, with how things hsve gone and the major major $$$ involved in something like that, I could totally see it happening.
 
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JohnDavidBlue

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The good news is that we have proven leadership to take us through these uncertain times. Nothing will surprise them as I am certain that every possibility has been thought through and they will be tactful in their decisions.

BTW, AAC is making the same dumb moves CUSA did in 2012.
 

ewglenn

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I think MT01 is right that realignment isn’t over. I think we are just waiting for the power conferences to become the 16 team super conferences, then the domino's will start falling again. I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear discussions why the SBC REALLY didn’t invite us or especially WKU. I get MT is pretty stagnant right now, but hopefully the facility upgrades will jumpstart athletics again. WKU has been a top performer in CUSA, and very surprised the SBC chose ODU over WKU. Really, the SBC brought in some deadweight with So Miss and ODU. I’m glad we didn’t go to the MAC. It’s stable, sure, but I have no interest in playing northern based schools with worse facilities than ours on Wednesday nights
I think it is clear what the SBC went after with the four they added. It was mid Atlantic schools with large G5 fan bases (USM fills that for their only western hole). I think ODU and USM have underperformed but they both still sell a lot of tickets. That is the biggest difference between those four and us/WKU. I would be willing to bet money if they could swap ULM for LT they would in a heartbeat.
 
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Didn't like the decision to leave the SBC. Thought MT should've stayed. Me and 45. We were right. But that's not being reported.
 

AustinLewis

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It is so dumb. Us and the Belt. The map they have, the conference logo is literally in the only empty spot, which is literally over top of MT and WKU. We would fit geographically, culture wise, $ wise. And it would put an end to CUSA essentially and I really thing be stable for many many years. I really don't think the next AAC deal is going to command as much. It'll be much more G5(4) than "P6".

I pushed for MAC because I thought it better than CUSA. But I 100% believe the SBC fits us better. But sadly that bridge is burned I'm afraid.
I wasn't a fan of the MAC b/c I didn't think it fit MT, but you are spot on. Inviting MT / WKU to SBC would effectively end CUSA.

I'm not sure if they got lucky with their new schools (Coastal, Appy, etc), but there's so much to like about the "new" SBC FB.

Can you imagine a SBC with ODU, Liberty, Marshall, and JMU? Or Charlotte, Coastal, & Appy? Troy, USA, and UAB duking it out for G5 greatness in Alabama, while MT & WKU continue 100 Miles of Hate & preserve / regain old rivalries (Marshall, Troy, etc)
 
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MidTennMtneer

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During that time, an F_U beat writer, IIRC, stated that the SBC would be a pair of 2s in a game of poker, while CUSA would be a pair of 3s.

Well that whole hand got blown out of the water. Looks like the Belt was holding out and playing the long game.
 

MTTim

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The good news is that we have proven leadership to take us through these uncertain times. Nothing will surprise them as I am certain that every possibility has been thought through and they will be tactful in their decisions.

BTW, AAC is making the same dumb moves CUSA did in 2012.
Proven leadership? This is funny. Thanks for the morning laugh.
 
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MidTennMtneer

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He has a whole thread essentially saying CUSA is screwed. And if Marshall pulls this off, I fully expect the other two to do so as well.

 

sWiley

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Seems obnoxiously silly to me.

Of course the courts in West Virginia are going to side with Marshall. Duh. There is a clear conflict of interest there. Is there not a way to get this lawsuit to a fair, non-bias court room? I thought this country was the pinnacle of justice and part of that was a "fair" court system? Nobody on planet earth would agree that it's fair to have this adjudicated in West Virginia.
 
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MidTennMtneer

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It's 100% not fair. Can't blame them for using their "state run and funded instituion" to their advantage.