Air Force Falcon athletic direct Hans Mueh has come out and said that if Air Force goes to the Big East they will not be paying the $5 million exit fee for leaving the Mountain West. The exit fee was set up back on June 7 when Utah and BYU left the league and here are the exact details of what teams would forfeit if they leave the Mountain West:
Effective this date, the Mountain West has added to its Bylaws resignation parameters which establish a significant financial penalty for an institution that chooses to depart the Conference. If a member institution provides notice on or before the June 30 preceding its subsequent June 30 withdrawal date, it shall forfeit its final year of revenue. If the resigning member gives notice after the established June 30 notice date, it shall forfeit its final year of revenue plus pay a sum of $5,000,000 OR shall pay double the amount of the final year's revenue, whichever is greater.
What Mueh is saying is that at this time Air Force would rather wait a year and join the Big East in 2013-14 and forfeit their revenue from the Mountain West television deal instead of paying the $5 million exit penalty for making a move after the June 30 deadline. The amount of revenue for the Mountain West television deal is just under $2 million so if Air Force can wait to make the expected move to the Big East then the will.
Besides saving money this does a few things for Air Force, it gives the Big East time to add schools to show that they are going to be a viable league and it will give more time for Army and Navy to think about if joining the Big East is the right move.
Mueh also mentioned that they may reconsider moving before 2013 depending on what the penalty would be, because leaving after June 30 since the amount could vary depending on the amount of revenue that is brought in. Also, the Big East may not want to wait for Air Force, because they would like to add teams as soon as possible and it makes sense that if the Big East can get all three service academies they would want to do it at once and not wait until 2013.