Prior to joining the Big 12, Texas Christian University had agreed, in principle, to become a member of the Big East Conference. Since, the Big East has acted more like a spurned lover than a collegiate athletic conference.
Today, the Big East filed a complaint in federal court in Washington, D.C. against TCU, claiming the school promised to pay a fee of $5 million to the conference should it renege on it’s original agreement to join as a member which was signed in November 2010.
TCU, obviously, has not yet paid this fee to the Big East after its agreement on October 6, 2012 that it would join the Big 12 as the conference’s 10th member– a move which made vastly more sense from both a competitive and logistical standpoint than joining a conference whose sixteen current members lie along the eastern seaboard.
According to the lawsuit:
The Big East made demand for the payment owed under the agreement, but Texas Christian University has refused to make that payment or acknowledge its obligation to do so.
The same filing notes that TCU “materially breached” its agreement with the Big East by switching its membership to the Big 12 and by failing to pay the $5 million penalty which, in fact, the school has even refused to acknowledge.
It’s yet another distraction for a TCU athletic department that will continue to deal with the fallout from arrests of several players due to their involvement in an on-campus drug ring earlier this year, and a move to the highly-competitive Big 12 where they will no longer be the big fish in a small pond.
The fact the Big East filed this lawsuit in federal court shows they mean business. While it’s likely this situation will be filed out of court by lawyers and never really directly affect TCU officials, any distraction at this point is unwelcome.
Plenty of challenges are already looming right around the corner for the Horned Frogs.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. If you enjoy his takes, you can follow Kris on Twitter and check out his personal Facebook page.