Originally written on Sports Business Digest  |  Last updated 2/8/12

For everyone sounding the death knell of the Big East Conference, you can put away your bells.

The Memphis Tigers will be joining the Big East Conference in all sports in 2013.

An official announcement is expected tomorrow at 1 pm, with a news conference in Memphis to follow.

Memphis, who leaves the Conference USA conference, will be joining a host of other schools headed for the Big East in the upcoming years — Central Florida, Houston, SMU, Navy, San Diego State, and Boise State. Many believed that even with the addition of the other schools, the addition of Memphis was crucial for the Big East’s survival as a conference due to the losses of West Virginia (Big 12), Pittsburgh and Syracuse (ACC).

With Big East approval guaranteed, Memphis still has yet another hurdle to climb; the Conference USA exit fee. Memphis will be forced to pay the conference’s $500,000 fee plus a share of their television rights revenue, putting their total exit fee at a little over $6.5 million.

Memphis has been trying to move from Conference USA since being snubbed when the Big East expanded in 2005, losing a longtime rivalry with Louisville. A departure now would be pricey for the Tigers. The exit fee from Conference USA for 2013-14 is $500,000 plus Memphis’ share of television rights revenue, which is approximately $6.13 million, according to a league spokeswoman.

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