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 CBSSports.com.

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.


Comments

Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:43 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

WVU law school is ranked and tied for 95th.  Not bad, but not a top law school by any means.



Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:40 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

So what about TCU? Are they exempt. They were joing the BE next year and they paid their 5 Mil and said goodbye. Why are they not subject to the same bylaws as everyone else? Was there somthing in these laws that said they could do this?I see WVU's point. Why not have TCU stay in BE for 27 months instead of just leaving? Hey they paid the money.


Dude, it states the reason in the very post your pulling all of your information from.  TCU never started play in the BE therefore, is not subject to the 27 month waiting period.  They were however still subject to the buyout fee.  This is why TCU gets to leave and WV does not.  It's pretty simple really.





Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:36 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

So he accepted the $2.5MM then said he wasn't agreeing to the terms outlined?  Interesting...

How is this interesting??  The 2.5 million was half of the buyout owed to the conference EVEN WHEN West Virginia leaves in 2014.  Regardless of whether or not they leave early, WV still has to pay the 5 million to leave so they are just getting half of it out of the way now.  The BE accepting half of the buyout now means absolutely nothing in the way of any terms outlined by WV.  It is owed to them. 




Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:31 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

No opinion or idea on when WVU can move to Big12.  I do wonder if Mizzouri will be allowed to leave Big12 for 2012 if WVU cannot replace them next year.



Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:31 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

This may well send wvu back out of the b12. This is exactly why the sec moved slowly with tam and mizz. And passed on wvu. Unless the b12 is backing wvu in this they will not want the negative press that is coming. Huge roll of the dice if the court says wvu must honor the contract they signed and must play in the be two more years any league move is likely gone.



Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:30 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

So what about TCU? Are they exempt. They were joing the BE next year and they paid their 5 Mil and said goodbye. Why are they not subject to the same bylaws as everyone else? Was there somthing in these laws that said they could do this?I see WVU's point. Why not have TCU stay in BE for 27 months instead of just leaving? Hey they paid the money.




Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:26 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

They have to fight Earmark Mitch McConnell, the most corrupt lover of Big Government and bail-outs on the hill.  It is like fighting against Satan.



Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:24 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Wrong. There is tortuitious interference from the Big 12 as well to be considered.  Also With the 27 month period including the next 2 seasons for BCS purposes this will assuredly drag on to the benefit of the Big East.  That's why the ACC does not have a problem with waiting til 2014.  The Big East will get an injunction against the Big 12 and West Virginia to enforce the bylaws.  All the conferences will be watching intently to see how this plays out. 



Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:21 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

Say what you want but Marinatto is 100% correct in his statement: "A contract is a contract". On what grounds WV believes they have to file this suit is beyond me.  Contracts are there for a reason and you can't turn around and just decide that you don't have to abide by them.  The 27 month buyout clause is rediculous but it is what it is and WV agreed to it.  Is it no surprise to anyone that PITT and Syracuse haven't filed suits??  It's because they, ulike WV apparently, realize that they signed a legal, binding contract and you can't just up an decide that now you don't have to follow it just because you want to start play in another conference next season. 

The president of WV looks that much dumber now for coming out and claiming that they were going to be playing in the B12 next year fully knowing that they have to give 27 months notice.  Don't get me wrong, I don't blame him one bit for wanting out of that conference, but "A contract is a contract".




Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:17 pm
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East

WVU has one of the best law schools around. In fact it was a lawyer from WVU who wrote the bylaws. So lets skip the legal advice and the diploma crap.



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