November 23, 2011 in Sports

Big East, BYU break off negotiations

Ralph D. Russo Associated Press
 

Brigham Young won’t be part of the Big East’s westward expansion.

Negotiations between the rebuilding conference and BYU have broken off, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the conference and school have not been making their talks public.

“BYU to the Big East is dead. It’s not going to happen,” the person said.

BYU athletic department spokesman Brett Pyne said in an email that school officials declined a request for comment.

The Big East was trying to add BYU as part of its plan to expand westward and become a 12-team football conference.

At issue are television rights. The person says BYU wanted to retain the rights to its home football games and the conference could not agree to that.

No other school in a major conference has such a deal.

BYU, based in Provo, Utah, left the Mountain West Conference after last season, entered the West Coast Conference for all other sports besides football and struck an eight-year-deal with ESPN.

The Big 12 courted BYU earlier this year when it was looking to replace Texas A&M and later Missouri, but working out a television agreement prevented a deal.

The Big East ultimately ran into the same problem as it tried to persuade the school to become a football-only member.

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto had been talking to BYU about joining the conference for weeks. But the school’s desire to retain the TV rights to its home games did not come up until late in the discussions, the person said.

Negotiations between the conference and school ended in the last 48 hours, the person said.

© Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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