It is common knowledge that the Colorado Buffaloes athletic department is financially strapped, which is why Dan Hawkins lasted into the 2010 season. The Buffs decided it was in their best interest to leave the Big 12 and join the Pac-12 in the fall of 2011 and by doing so they are forfeiting $6.863 million. That amount was a negotiated rate because the Big 12 did not want to have an 11-team league since Nebraska was joining the Big 10 for the 2011 football season regardless of the penalty.
Colorado could have owed almost triple that amount since the Big 12 bylaws could have had Colorado forfeit 80 percent of their revenue, and in this case would have been approximately $15 million.
The Pac-12 is going to be able to give Colorado some money stemming from the agreement with Fox who bought the rights to the Pac-12 championship game:
Scott said the conference and Colorado have reached an agreement under which CU will receive a pro-rated share of any new revenue the league generates outside of its current television agreement, which will expire at the end of the 2011-12 school year.
The conference already has secured new revenue that meets that standard in a $25 million television agreement with Fox for the rights to the first Pac-12 football championship games and other games played throughout the year by Colorado and Utah that don`t fall under the league`s current television deal.
"They will get several million dollars next year from us because we were highly successful in negotiating our championship deal, even though we didn`t guarantee them any money next year," Scott said. "But it won't come anywhere close to what they're forgoing and what the (Big 12) buyout will be."
By no means does this put Colorado in the black during their first year in the Pac-12; the Buffs will pay the buyout to Dan Hawkins, the former staff and then new head coach John Embree and his staff. The move to the Pac-12 is expected to net Colorado much more money in the long term then had they stayed in the Big 12, but until that contract kicks in the Buffs will be operating on a short-handed budget in their first year in the Pac-12.