TCU still owes the Big East Conference $5 million for failing to join the league, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington.
The Big East claims TCU reneged on its plans to join the league and instead announced in October that the school would join the Big 12 Conference. The Horned Frogs are set to join the Big 12 on July 1.
“TCU administrators were surprised by this lawsuit and believe it is premature,” the school said in a release. “The university is hopeful for an amicable resolution of this matter. Because of the pending litigation, TCU will have no further comment.”
TCU agreed to leave the Mountain West and join the Big East in November 2010 beginning July 1, 2012. In the lawsuit, the Big East contends that TCU agreed “that although damages would be difficult to determine if TCU did not follow through on its agreement to join the Big East on the effective date, a reasonable estimate of the conference’s damages would be $5 million.”
The lawsuit claims TCU attended certain conference meetings between Nov. 29, 2010, and Oct. 6, 2011, but as a non-member could not vote.
The lawsuit also contends that TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte “publicly acknowledged TCU’s contractual obligation to compensate the Big East for its refusal to join the conference” on Oct. 11, 2011, at a news conference announcing that TCU would join the Big 12 instead.
In the lawsuit, the Big East says it has “made demand for the payment”, but that TCU has refused.
Calls to several TCU officials, including Del Conte, were not immediately returned.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760