Blog Entry

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Posted on: October 31, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 9:59 am

West Virginia is filing suit against the Big East Conference so it can join the Big 12 next season, according to a document obtained by

The Big East requires its members to pay $5 million and provide 27 months notice before it may leave the conference. However, on Friday when West Virginia accepted an invitation to join the Big 12, WVU and Big 12 officials both indicated the Mountaineers would begin play in the Big 12 in 2012-13.

In an e-mail to the league’s presidents Monday, Big East commissioner John Marinatto wrote that “we have been advised by West Virginia league council that the University is filing suit against the Big East Conference today (Monday) – presumably to get relief from the withdrawal provision contained in our bylaws.”

Marinatto later issued the following statement in response to West Virginia's lawsuit:

“We are disappointed that West Virginia has adopted this strategy and cannot imagine why it believes it does not have to respect and honor the bylaws it agreed to as a member of the Big East. Based on an initial review of the lawsuit, it is clear that the allegations and claims in it are false and inaccurate. Certainly there is nothing in it that would justify WVU’s not fulfilling its obligations. To put it simply, a contract is a contract.

“Once we have reviewed the filing, we will explore all our legal options and will act vigorously to ensure that WVU lives up to all its obligations to our conference. In the meantime, this lawsuit will not interfere in any way with our ongoing efforts to strengthen and expand the Big East.”

 West Virginia is the latest school to announce it was leaving the Big East along with Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC and TCU to the Big 12.

The Big East has a 27-month notification period to leave and Marinatto has said multiple times Pittsburgh and Syracuse can’t leave for the ACC until June 1, 2014. Other league sources have said the Big East has no plans of letting West Virginia leave the league before June 1, 2014 and were surprised the Mountaineers announced they were joining the Big 12 in 2012. TCU had to pay $5 million, but was not required to provide 27 months notice because it left for the Big 12 before it actually began play in the Big East.

"We've been a good member of the Big East for a long time," President James Clements told reporters on Friday. "Our University is in discussions with the conference office."

Clements said West Virginia has already paid $2.5 million of the $5 million exit fee required to the Big East. He added the remaining amount would be paid on June 30, 2012 – on what the Mountaineers believe will be their final day in the Big East.

The Big East’s presidents and chancellors will meet in Philadelphia Tuesday. They are expected to formalize plans to add as many as six schools – Boise State, Navy, Air Force, SMU, Houston and UCF. No schools have received “official invitations” yet, but all have had multiple discussions with Marinatto in recent weeks about joining the league.

Last month, Marinatto said that if the Big East grew to 12 football schools, the league still would make Pitt and Syracuse honor the 27-month requirement "even if it meant a 14-team Big East" in 2013. That philosophy hasn't changed, league sources said, which could possibly mean a 15-team Big East, including West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, in 2013.


Since: Sep 18, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 12:14 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Why am I not surprised that WVU's idea for how to make this work is to file an obviously groundless lawsuit and totally piss off the folks they should be sweet-talking?  Whatta Vacuum Upstairs!

Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:00 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Let's get this suit rolling and get WV to the Big XII-2-1+1-1+1.

Since: Apr 21, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:20 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

I had felt sorry for and sided with West Virginia in the whole debate over Rich Rod's departure. Now they are turning around and trying to pull the same sketchy maneuver in their own case.

If WV wants to leave the Big East, fine, they can act in their own best interest. But the idea of leaving the Big East and trying to squirm out of a commitment they made is ridiculous. Pay the exit fee, honor the waiting time requirement, and maybe they can preserve a shred of integrity.  

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:05 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

teres minor, again you have missed the point RR was a "home guy".  The Big EAST is dead, and WVU left while the corpse was warm.  The BIG EAST has gotten what it has deserved.  The concept of the BIF EAST was always STUPID. football, no football, Div III football, it was bound not to work.  EVERYBODY repeat after me FOOTBALL MAKES THE MONEY, FOOTBALL PAYS THE BILLS! 

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:22 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

GUYS, I put the current problems in the BIG EAST on both Tranghese's and Marinatto's leadership !  Tranghese was the BE Commissioner in 2003 when BC, VT and Miami left the conference.  The BE reloaded with basketball only schools like DePaul and Marquette.  They should have taken on more football schools at the time to at least bring the league to 10 football playing members.  There have been real big problems brewing for years in this conference because of the hybrid and hodgepodge makeup of the league. When Tranghese saw the real problems were going to get worse, he jump ship and retired.  Marinatto is most likely trying to put out a bunch of brush fires, that seem to never stop, and is most likely in over his head.  For a school to decide to leave the BE or any other conference is fair as long as the rules are enforced for for everyone. But Tranghese should have handled these problems many years
back, in my opinion.

Since: Mar 25, 2008
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:04 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Big East screwed up in 1985 with Penn State. Penn State applied and got REJECTED. Yes, rejected. They needed 6 out of 8 votes and got 5. If anyone can figure out who voted no that solves one of the stupidest conference moves ever.

Note: It was 1982, since that was the year they accepted Pittsburgh for their 9th member (and according the link below).

The suspects have always been the 3 schools that played no level of football:  Providence, Seton Hall and St. John's.

UConn and Nova at least considered the possibility of eventually moving up to 1-A football when the football league was finally formed, so it's hard to believe they wouldn't have considered a tie with PA ST beneficial a decade earlier.

I keep getting the feeling from Tranghese interviews and that Commish Gavitt was not big on Penn State and so I think Providence (source of ALL the Big East Commissioners, BTW) voted "No."  It's just the passive way that he describes Gavitt's actions...

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:01 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East


Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: November 1, 2011 7:20 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

West Virginia was the Big East in Football, WV wanted to expand to 12 members when Miamii, Va Tech, and BC left but the Big East Commissioner was to caught up in destroying the Big East football teams and made NO atempts to recruits other schools other then replacing the 3 teams lost. Mariannnato is a useless Commissioner of any football league. When the ACC wanted to expand, they did, when the other conferences wanted to expand they did, the Big East set like a dummy and let confeences steal their schools and did nothing. West Virginkia should receive its $5 million dollars back and then some.

Since: Nov 8, 2009
Posted on: November 1, 2011 7:01 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Man, don't know what your problem is, but it sure reeks of bigotry.

Since: Nov 8, 2009
Posted on: November 1, 2011 7:00 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Man, don't know what your problem is, but it sure reeks of bigotry.

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