College conference realignment once again big in the news

By Joedy McCreary

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Sept. 18 2011 10:04 p.m. MDT

Swofford confirmed the ACC unanimously approved raising the exit fee to approximately $20 million — up from $12 million to $14 million — for any member leaving the conference, a maneuver seemingly designed to keep the remaining ACC schools in the fold.

"I look at that, as I think our presidents do, as actually a show of solidarity and confidence in each other," Swofford said, "but it's also set in terms of what we think, in losing a member, the various tangible and intangible costs may be."

It's sure to create even more bad blood between two conferences that became embroiled in a nasty lawsuit the last time the ACC expanded by adding schools from the Big East. A multibillion dollar settlement reached in 2005 included the scheduling of nine interconference football games.

With Pitt and Syracuse coming aboard, the number of programs making the Big East-to-ACC jump in the past decade is five.

AP College Football Writers Ralph D. Russo in Tallahassee, Fla., and Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma; AP Sports Writers Jim Vertuno in Austin, Texas; Dave Skretta in Manhattan, Kan.; and Rick Gano in South Bend, Ind.; and Associated Press Writer Alan Scher Zagier in Columbia, Mo., contributed to this report.

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