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: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:57 am

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.

Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:37 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

At the rate things are going, if the Big East dissolves, the lawsuit may be dropped.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: November 1, 2011 10:26 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

West Virginia in a lawsuit?  It couldn't be! 
TCFlint back on a WVU topic making stupid comments and insulting WVU and West Virginians?  Couldn't be.  Yes, going on a week now, you are really sad.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 10:14 am

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!

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:50 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

that's the best idea i've seen for those two conferences.

Since: Nov 1, 2011
Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:39 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Hey Smokin'guns.....your mom sure does like us WV boys.  I would say your wife, but your probably married to another guy.

Since: Feb 17, 2010
Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:37 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 1, 2011
Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:36 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East's y'all.  No one says you'uns in WV.  That is a PA thing....some say use'guys.  Just for clarity sake there.  Hell, I can't even understand you guys in Maine, you guys may as well be Canadian.

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:29 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Ah, the ever-elusive "a contract is a contract" argument!  Everywhere but in sports, that is.  NOBODY respects a contract in sports and it is the greatest of follies to play this card.

But the Big East can't simply let one of its few remaining legitimate football schools walk out the door and still have any chance at all of retaining its automatic qualifier status for the BCS.  Does anybody really believe that adding the service academies and directional Florida schools will help the conference retain its AQ?

By the way, in West Virginia it isn't "Y'all."  It's "You'uns."

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:29 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

West Virginia in a lawsuit?  It couldn't be! 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or