Nebraska is one small step closer to leaving the Big 12 and joining the Big Ten. Though the decision has long been official it is the smaller details that have to be worked out before the changeover can take place. The Associated Press confirms that regents at the University of Nebraska have approved a $9.25 million settlement over the school’s disassociation with the Big 12, paving the way to join the Big Ten next season in football and other sports.
The Big 12 originally intended to stick to the conference’s by-laws by withholding 80 percent of Nebraska’s share of conference revenue for the 2009-2010 conference fiscal year in addition to what Nebraska would normally be entitled to for this current cycle. It is estimated that Nebraska would then be forced to give up nearly $20 million to the conference ($19.4 million). A settlement between Nebraska and the Big 12 respectfully decreased the amount Nebraska would lose by jumping to the Big Ten on July 1, 2011.
Nebraska has a chance to lower their exit fee even more if they are one of two schools to play in a BCS bowl game. The Big 12 is already handed an automatic spot in the big money bowl games so the best-case scenario for Nebraska would probably be to have Oklahoma and Nebraska reach the Big 12 championship game in good position for a BCS at-large bid regardless of the outcome. Two teams in the BCS games would bring twice as much BCS money to the conference, thus lessening the need for the Big 12 to keep as much money from Nebraska on their way out.
The regents at Nebraska also approved plans to expand Memorial Stadium to a capacity of 90,000. The project will cost approximately $56 million.