As reported here and here, the Catholic 7 will be leaving behind over $100 million in cash reserves when they take the Big East name and the basketball-only schools with them to form a new conference. Of those reserves it sounds like UC will be written a check for about $30 million of that pool, the same amount that will be sent to the remaining leftovers on the football side Connecticut and South Florida.
Obviously this is outstanding news for a cash-strapped athletic department that is not only on the cusp of breaking ground on Nippert Stadium renovations but is eying a makeover of Fifth-Third Arena and the Armory in the coming years as well. You can bet that the $30 million will go to a combination of chipping away at the Varsity Village and Sheakley Athletics Complex debt, upgrading other various sporting areas around campus, taking care of an assortment of athletic department expenses, and propping up the income side of the budget. All of which will continue the monumental task of upgrading Bearcats athletics.
3.5.2012 UPDATE: Per the Cincinnati Enquirer, a source at UC is telling them the payout will be $10 – $15 million. $10 million, $15 million, $30 million, it doesn’t matter. Cincinnati ’bout to get paid.
3.5.2012 UPDATE PT 2: I’m inclined to believe the $30 million figure is accurate and the $15 million the Enquirer is referring to is what is will be available to UC after they pay for some critical athletic department expenses.
What would put this situation over the top is if in a few months the ACC or Big XII threw UC a life preserver and hoisted them to the safety of a stronger conference. Cincinnati could walk away like bandits not only collecting $30 million from their previous overlords but cashing in annual paychecks of tens-of-millions of dollars in a new conference, not to mention the aura of playing stronger teams under a respectable banner.
That would be a dream scenario for UC but not that farfetched. It’s unusual for us to hear the words “perfect situation” and “Cincinnati” in the same sentence but in the next few months that could be exactly what occurs. Get ready, Bearcats fans, this is just the start of things finally turning for the better for UC.