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 16, 2011
Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:14 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

The Big East is on life support and adding the military acadamies and Conference USA schools isn't going to help.  The Big East needs to drop football and allow its remaining football playing schools to seek conference affiliation elsewhere.  Then the Mountain West and Conference USA need to form an alliance to play a championship game between them (and negotiate for this inter-conference champion to receive an automatic BCS bid).

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:53 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

SMOKINGGUNS, you are obviously an idiot because you are going to immediately call West Virginians stupid and go to other moronic stereotypes.  I'm sure you haven't read the bylaws, which I have since they are posted on WVU's athletics website and the university has a very valid arguement because TCU had officially joined and was not required to wait the 27 months.  The bylaws don't speak to anything at all about "beginning play" in the conference.  TCU was a member, they had to formally withdraw from the conference just as Pitt, Syracuse and WVU did and were not held to the same rules, thereby making those bylaws invalid.  In addition, the BE commissioner is at fault with the demise of the BE for two reasons:  Pissing off ESPN is number 1 and ESPN in return is the main reason for all of the conference realignment (See front page of today's USA Today); Number 2 would be allowing ND to do as it pleases and screw over the football members of the conference.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:46 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Bill Stewart wasn't screwed...he was given a job that he wasn't qualified to perform.  He was in over his head and the men in control of the WVU program want to make WVU better than an average program and that could not be with Stewart as HC.  Please don't get me wrong...I think that Bill Stewart is a great man and good leader of young men, he just isn't that good of a football coach if we want to be a top 10 program year in and year out.

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:38 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Yes a contract is a contract, but in a case like what is going on in college football today, just let everyone move around.  What is the sense in holding anyone up....  West Virginia obviously no longer wants to be in a conference that is completely falling apart and since the top members are all leaving, just let them move on.  I am a Big East guy for my entire life, and I hate that the conference is not going to be what it always has been, but this just seems stupid to me.  In the Big 12, at least the top schools are staying around.  They are losing the mid level teams......   Just my 2 cents, but I dont see holding off when the teams are inevitably going to leave anyways. 

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:10 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

What a surprise! The Mountainqueers admin can't read (their conference's bylaws). Y'all have to wait. Wouldn't mind seeing the Big Least countersue and take away their moonshine. West Virginia's threat to the Big East: "You got a pretty mouth, boy!"

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:00 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

In it's lawsuit, WVU allegedly blames Marinatto for all of the Big East's problems, and says that he has not fostered a competitive environment.  If this is true, good for you WVU!!  Marinatto is directly to blame for the demise of the Big East.  I don't think there has been a more destructive sports figure in the college landscape in recent history.  That guy is basically pushing everyone out by his inaction and ineptitude.  Man does he suck!!!

Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: November 1, 2011 7:16 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

This reminds me of old story, my grandmother told me…

Once upon a time there was a girl so badly wanted to get out of her old house tried every single way she could think of, so she could join the new hoe house in north east. She even tried to bribe the father of the house. But she couldn’t so the witch of the northeast had to ask mighty Nasty but Cowardly Assholes for Assistant (NCAA, so people called) for help, so they could open their hoe house with seven girls instead of seven. But nothing worked she had to wait for a year.

The Witch of the Northeast is the Big East. The poor girl wanted to join the hoe house in Northeast was Louisville, who now wants to get out of there ASAP. Her old house is the Conference USA.

When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn…

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: November 1, 2011 7:07 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Haha. Elgecko, you obviously don't want college football much.  In 07 and 09 the BE had WVU and Cincinatti respectively, with UC being undefeated prior to its bowl game and WVU, if not for a melt down against rival Pitt, would have won the NCG.  In 1999, 2001, and 2002 the BE sent teams to the NCG, with Miami winning in 2001 and according to any non Big 10/Ohio State fans winning again in 2002. 

The last time Michigan was a legit national contender? 1997.


Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: November 1, 2011 6:15 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Once again let me tell you what's the truth. The Big East was, is and always will be a basketball conference. To te many who feel as I do, football was a sideline. And I ask the question many have asked and that is where would the Big East be today if ESPN had been awarded the contract? As far as I, and many like me, are concerned, let the football teams go their way, go back to basketball, add Detroit, St. Louis, Xavier and call it the Big Pope.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: November 1, 2011 5:33 am

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

While it is highly suspected that certain parties in the ACC want the Big East out of the picture so they no longer outshine them in basketball, I can't see the Big 12 having any reason to feel that way, or to feel the need to send veiled threats.

Look let the crummy Big East have its basketball.  They can put all their teams in the ever-expanding NCAA tournament for all I care.  WVU wants out of the Big East and into the Big 12 so it can raise the level of its football program.  I salute them for that.   

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