INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA and the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association (MIBA) have agreed to terms under which the NCAA will purchase the rights to and operate the preseason and postseason National Invitation Tournaments (NIT), effective immediately.
NCAA President Myles Brand and John Sexton, president of New York University, one of the five schools that have owned the NIT events since the 1940s, will jointly announce the sale and purchase at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Garden has been the site of the finals for the postseason NIT since its inception in 1938, and is expected to continue to host the preseason and postseason events.
The other four schools that compose MIBA are Fordham University, Manhattan College, Wagner College and St. John’s University (New York). All five are also members of the NCAA.
The agreement ends litigation that has been ongoing between the two parties for four years. MIBA sued the NCAA in 2001, claiming antitrust violations with regard to the Association’s Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Trial had begun August 1, in New York City and was expected to continue to the end of the month.
Terms of the agreement both transfer the ownership of the tournaments ($40.5 million) and end the litigation ($16 million). The combined amounts will be paid over a 10-year period.
“This is an historic day for men’s college basketball,” said Brand. “The agreement provides the NCAA with an opportunity to better define the college basketball season and to build on the status of the two NIT events. We intend to grow these tournaments to showcase college basketball and the student-athletes who make the game great.
Operation of the events by the NCAA will commence this fall. ESPN will continue to broadcast the tournaments.
“I appreciate the good will with which President Sexton and the other MIBA presidents worked to find a mutually acceptable resolution,” Brand said. “While our interests were different, we agree on the fundamental value of college sports to higher education and the importance of moving forward as a membership committed to the future of men’s college basketball.”
Finals of the tournaments will continue to be held in the New York City area for at least the next five years.