University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich has reached a deal with the American Athletic Conference to allow a smooth exit for Louisville to the ACC.
UofL and AAC commissioner Mike Aresco have been in talks for months to assure a proper exit plan, and the two parties have reached an agreement that will terminate Louisville's membership on July 1, 2014 in time for Louisville to join the ACC on that date.
"I'm glad to have been able to work face-to-face with Mike Aresco to reach a fair settlement for us to depart the league a year early," said Vice-President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich. "All of us at the University of Louisville appreciate what the former Big East and American Athletic Conference have done for us and I see greatness ahead for the league under Mike's leadership."
Sources told CardinalSports.com that Louisville's previous two $2.5 million payments will be included in the AAC exit fee. Louisville will pay $1.5 million per year in 2014-17 to settle their account with the AAC.
As a result of the deal struck between Jurich and Aresco, Louisville's transition to the ACC will not need to end in a court battle like college athletics has seen in other cases like Maryland and the ACC.
Rutgers and the AAC are still in negotiations for Rutgers move to the Big Ten. Boise State and the American Conference are set to enter a jury trial on July 1, 2014 to try to determine the proper exit fee for the Broncos.
West Virginia's messy divorce from the Big East ended up costing the program more than $20 million in exit and lawyer fees. Louisville's total will be $11 million.
"I am pleased to announce this agreement and pleased that Tom Jurich and I worked together in a spirit of friendship to complete it," Aresco said. "I have great respect and admiration for Tom and for the manner in which Louisville conducted itself in our negotiations. We wish Louisville the best and appreciate what they have meant to our conference."
Having a deal done with the league will allow Louisville to smoothly move forward fully with its plans to exit the league after this season.
Sources also told CardinalSports.com that Louisville's deal with the AAC was reduced in price because Louisville's willingness to work with the league to keep the dispute out of the courts.
Louisville is coming off one of the best seasons in NCAA history. The Louisville football team won the BCS Allstate Sugar Bowl over Florida, the men's basketball team won the NCAA Championship, the women's basketball team made the 2013 Final Four and played for a national title and the baseball team made the 2013 College World Series.
Dubbed "The Year of the Cardinal," 2012-13 marked the first time any athletic department had accomplished all four of those feats in the single season.