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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: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:51 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Like the other WVU fan's post, read the article above if you can? TCU had not played a game in the BE! They were/are not held to the same 27 month notice as the 8 BE schools currently playing. Jeeez! How many times do you guys need to be told  this?

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:48 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Hey genius when it's a laywer it is "Counsel" not "council.

Since: Feb 16, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:40 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

I guess it only took a few days for WVU to pal around with those litigious scoundrels in the Big XII before they joined in that behavior. Maybe Baylor can loan out Ken Starr to help.

Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:25 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

The lawsuit by WVU should be a warning to the Big 12.  Your new member does not want to abide by conference rules. College football is a joke.

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:19 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

With the threat of Mizzou's impeding move, the Big 12 may only have 9 teams for 2012, which appears to put them at jeopardy for meeting their end of the TV contract.  this is why they have been talking Mizzou playing in 2012.  As a fail safe they approach BYU but that has hit an impassed.  Then they approach the next teams on their list, WVU and Louisville.  WVU was willing to try to get out of the Big East in time for 2012 play so here we are.

Without this lawsuit, the Big East would have rebuilt itself for 2013 play, and the all the Big East teams who wanted out would likely have been out by 2013 rather than 2014.  So in all likelihood this lawsuit makes for a 1 year difference. The Big 12 could have taken a harder look for a 2013 arrival while continuing to work on BYU.  The Big 12 could and should have worked harder to keep Missouri.  All the same time they could have taken Louisville, Cincinnati and WVU and declare the Big 12 is becoming the Big 14 by 2014. Any TV contract problems with 9 members should Missouri leaves could have been renegotiated in light of a forthcomming Big 14.

This 27 month clause is similar to the 1 year clause by the C-USA, and even the 6 years tier 1 & tier 2 ownership caluse by the Big 12. WVU was a willing participant of the 27 months Big East clause, as it is now a willing participant of the 6 years media ownership clause of the Big 12. These clauses serve the conference members by insuring short term stability, and enough time for the conference to reconstitute itself. I think really put WVU, and the Big 12, in a bad light with this lawsuit. I am thinking when will WVU do the same to the Big 12.  I am thinking how manipulative the Big 12 appears.  The Big 1G, the ACC, the SEC, and the Pac10 did not need any such shananigans. 

Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:18 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

WOW!!!! That is an articulate,  well thought out rebuttal to the topic at hand. Idiot.........peddle your sales pitch on a "" site. I can't believe the administrators didn't omit your post. Unless you are suggesting we should all do this, and donate it to WVU to help with the BE exit fee 

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:18 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

I do wonder if Mizzouri will be allowed to leave Big12 for 2012 if WVU cannot replace them next year.

You're comparing apples to oranges, though. The Big East has the 27-month notification requirement for teams leaving the conference. The Big 12 does not. There probably is no way for the Big 12 to stop Missouri from leaving whenever it wants, as long as an exit fee has been agreed upon.

Also, everyone should keep in mind that WVU hasn't breached any contract yet, so there is no grounds for tortious interference counter-suits involving them going to the Big 12. The lawsuit WVU is filing asking for relief from the 27-month period will never go to court. Most lawsuits don't. The university is just establishing a negotiating position. Probably the school and the league will agree to some sort of arbitration, and for a price the league will let them go in time for the 2012 season.

Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:04 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:00 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

As a Mountaineer fan I have to say this is becoming a little too much.  When Rich Rod left for Michigan I agreed with how WV actively pursued their lawsuit against him pertaining to their buyout clause.  When Pitt and Syracuse announced earlier that they were leaving the BE, WV was on board with the rest of the BE as far as holding them to their commitment date of 2014.  With that said, I'd love for us to start Big 12 play as soon as possible but the same rules have to be applied to everyone.  I like Oliver Luck a lot but he is also a lawyer and sometimes the threat of a lawsuit is counterproductive.  It's almost like a divorce case where WV wants to start a new life with the Big 12 girlfriend before the set in writing terms of the BE divorce are final and the only way that's gonna happen is money, money and more money.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:00 pm

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

And now we have to lawyer it up. Messy. I'm a very exhausted fan.

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