Tag:Big East lawsuit
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:31 am
 

WVU files motion to dismiss Big East suit

Posted by Chip Patterson

The ongoing legal battle between West Virginia and the Big East entered the next phase of litigation this week, with the school filing a motion to dismiss the Big East's lawsuit against the university.

[PDF: Read the 133-page motion, obtained by the Charleston Gazette]

West Virginia fired first in this legal battle, filing a lawsuit against the Big East seeking an exit before the 2012-2013 academic year. The league then responded days later with their own lawsuit against West Virginia, filed in Rhode Island Superior Court.

The motion from West Virginia, filed this week to the Rhode Island Superior Court, makes four key points as to why the suit should be dismissed. The primary claim from the school is that Rhode Island's courts don't have jurisdiction over the state of West Virginia. The language in the motion clearly ties the university to the state itself, at one point referring to themselves as "an alter ego of the State of West Virginia."

Finally, the school's lawyers make reference to the "essentially identical" suit brought against the Big East by the West Virginia Board of Governors. The motion requests that if the Big East's suit in Rhode Island is not dismissed, it at least be put on hold until the resolution of the initial action from West Virginia.

As expected, there is no bright light at the end of this legal tunnel yet. As the conference and school will likely continue to wage war in court for the foreseeable. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, the clock is ticking if they want to be able to get Big 12 conference play in 2012. If the Big East wants to hold the school for the 27-month withdrawal period in the bylaws, extended legal battles is one way to spend that time.

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 4:37 pm
 

Big East files lawsuit against West Virginia

Posted by Chip Patterson

PDF: Read the official complaint, filed in the Rhode Island Superior Court

When West Virginia held their teleconference to announce the move to the Big 12, the most popular question was how the Mountaineers planned to compete in their new conference in the 2012-2013 season with a 27-month withdrawal required by Big East bylaws.

At the time, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck answered several times that "our people are working with their people to make that happen."

Apparently that did not work out well for the Mountaineers, with the school filing a lawsuit against the Big East earlier this week so it can join the Big 12.

After Commissioner John Marinatto issued his statement of disappointment, the Big East decided to take action themselves. On Friday, the conference announced they are pursuing legal action against West Virginia.

The conference filed a suit in the Superior Court for the State of Rhode Island, Providence County. It is described as a "breach of contract lawsuit" and seeks an order requiring West Virginia to comply with Big East bylaws. These bylaws include the 27 months for exit, as well as payment of the exit fee.

“Today’s legal action underscores the Big East Conference’s stated position that it will vigorously pursue the enforcement of its rights and West Virginia University’s obligations under the conference’s Bylaws which West Virginia formally agreed to and helped construct,” Marinatto said in the official release.

This action comes as no surprise, as the presidents of the Big East schools voted to hold exiting members to the 27-month requirement in an annual meeting on Tuesday. What comes next? A long and confusing legal battle over conference responsibilities. Nobody wins, except the lawyers. 

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