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: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: November 1, 2011 6:24 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East are wrong when you say the only other litigation WVU has been in was the RR situation.  Back in 2002, WVU was sued by the University of Miami for 2 coaches being hurt by fans after the game at Mountaineer Field. Some of your fans dropped a 55gal. trash barrel off the upper deck on the coaches as they were returning to the visitors dressing room. These coaches had no knowledge what was about to happen to them, until the barrel crashed down on their heads. One of the coaches was disabled, and a monitary settlement and other relief was later made out of court between WVU and the injured coaches and the U of M. These are facts.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: November 1, 2011 6:08 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

The ACC said they would abide by the agreement that PITT and Syracuse had with the BIG EAST, with regards to when they can leave.  Of course, the ACC would welcome these new members as soon as possible. My bet is PITT and Syracuse will begin participation in the ACC in 2013. 

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: November 1, 2011 3:41 pm

West Virginia hypocrites

This is the same school that called Rich Rod a "traitor" and made his life miserable when he did exactly to them what they are doing to the Big East, right?  Apparently, the 'eers have added hypocrisy to couch-burning as things they do on an elite level. 

Since: Sep 19, 2008
Posted on: November 1, 2011 2:13 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

If Marinatto was smart he should create an elite basketball conference and let the football schools play football only with Conference USA.  He is spending too much time with Syracuse, Pitt, WVU which are leaving.  LET THEM GO AND MOVE ON, YOUR LIKE THAT BIG BABY IN A MAFIA MOVIE.

Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: November 1, 2011 2:10 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

"Don't be surprised if Syracuse and Pitt follow suit.  It will be in their best interest to get out.  Also, don't expect Boise St or Air Force to join.  There is too much backlash on campus and in their communities (especially Air Force).  The rumor that Louisville could still depart for the Big 12 and Rutgers and Connecticut could leave is also problematic.  The Big East in football is too unstable to jump into right now."

And your comments have nothing to do with trying to keep your New Mexico Lobos in a conference with relavant teams?  You are making quite a few assumptions there.  The sentiment for both Boise State and Air Force is mixed.  On the one hand they know the Big East is unstable and that other teams could defect, on the other hand they know that they have essentially 0 growth potential in the MWC/C-USA merger and indeed stand a chance of being far worse off if they don't end up securing a BCS bid.  As it sits right now Boise State has to share any proceeds of any bowl wins among the MWC if the MWC/C-USA merger doesn't produce a bid (which is also highly unlikely, given the number of teams with small stadiums, lack of money and teams that produce overall losing seasons), they could potentially end up having to share what they currently earn with 2 conferences.  Tell me that wouldn't royally suck.  The MWC/C-USA current config has 10 programs between the two of them that have overall losing records.  The proposed Big East would only have 2 and Boise State would only have to share with one conference and 11 other teams if they win.  Furthermore the MWC/C-USA alliance CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE ANY TEAMS WITH WINNING SEASONS to have any kind of shot.   UCF and Houston have already gotten official approval to look at their other options, which is the first step towards leaving a conference.  NOT A GOOD SIGN for the MWC/C-USA. Also add in the absolutely crappy media deal which we have in the MWC.  With half your games on Versus or the Mountain you effectively kill your media exposure.  The Mountain Channel needs to die.  I don't care what money it produces it still doesn't compare with even a crappy media deal in a BCS Conference and the damage it does by limiting a team's exposure hurts more in the long run.  If the Big East dies the gap between the BCS Conferences and the non-AQs widens drastically with little to no opportunities for EVER expanding or growing as a program.  The best thing to do is take the best non-AQs and group them together in one conference, which if you look at the proposed Big East that is essentially what they are doing.  The bottom line is that there is no good option, but even though one of the options is risky it at least gives the program a shot at growing. 

Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: November 1, 2011 1:48 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

tcflint, your facts are so scewed, you are only going by the rr situation which is the only time i remember us being in litigation. also that was a good thing to fight him because he wasnt wanting to pay his buyout clause nothing more nothing less. we werent trying to make him stay we were trying to make him pay his buyout. remember this you idiot michigan raided our house not the other way around so stop trying to make it seem like we were the bad guys in the situation. so sit on your almight michigan thrown and shut up already

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 1:22 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

West Virginia and lawsuits go hand in hand.  That is a true statement not a stupid comment.  However, I do think your senators and governor should stick to politics and stay out of sports. 

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: November 1, 2011 12:48 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

The Big East FOOTBALL stinks (with a few exceptions) on a yearly basis, yes there will be that "special team"  but the Big East conference champion was 8-4.  Football makes the money (except maybe U CONn)  The teams that left for ACC are medicore teams at best and will not have ANY positive affect on the conference. 

Since: Nov 1, 2011
Posted on: November 1, 2011 12:11 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

The "directional school" in Florida you are referring to is UCF...and if you knew anything at all about them, you would know they finished last year in the top 20, something NO CURRENT MEMBER of the Big East did last year.  They are also the second largest university in the country, so it is no backwater stop.  It's in Orlando.  All the facilities are new, and its in the #19 tv market, further opening the state to big east recruiting. Attendance at football games averages higher than half the current teams in the Big East. It would have a natural rivalry with current member USF, which could be good for both schools. It may not help the big east retain an AQ, but it won't hurt it like some of the other expansion candidates might!

No idea how UCF earned a Top 25 ranking last year, they didn't beat anyone with a winning record. They have only beaten 4 BCS teams in their entire 30+ year history.  UCF may easily be the most over-hyped school in the country. 

Since: Nov 1, 2011
Posted on: November 1, 2011 12:08 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Good for West Virginia.  The Big East is doomed, no way it keeps its BCS status.  Trying to force WVU, Pitt, and Syracuse into staying for an extra 27 months is a sign of desperation, they know the conference is finished. 

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