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Tag:James P. Clements
Posted on: October 28, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Big 12 makes West Virginia official

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As first reported by CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy on Friday morning, the Big 12 has invited West Virginia to join the conference and West Virginia accepted the invitation, informing the Big East of the decision on Friday.

The move is now official as the Big 12 has released a statement about West Virginia.

"The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors are excited to welcome another outstanding institution to the Conference," said Burns Hargis, Chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors in the release. "The addition of West Virginia, while expanding the reach of the Big 12, brings an impressive institution with esteemed academics and a proud athletic tradition into the Conference. This is another step in building a strong foundation for the future of the Big 12." 

"The Big 12 is a perfect fit for West Virginia University," said WVU President Dr. James P. Clements. "It is a strong conference that, like WVU, values quality academic and athletic programs, and has a great tradition of success. This is a very exciting time for WVU and Mountaineer nation. I am confident that the future of WVU athletics has never been more promising."

West Virginia to the Big 12
What is not so clear at this point is when West Virginia will be joining the Big 12, According to the Big 12's release on Friday, the school would become a member of the conference beginning on July 1, 2012. However, the Big East said on Friday that it plans on holding West Virginia to the same 27-month notice that it is holding Pitt and Syracuse to. If that is the case, then West Virginia can't join the Big 12 until 2014.

During a conference call on Friday afternoon announcing the deal, West Virginia said that it plans on being in the Big 12 by July 2012, but it's not official as of yet. From Chip Patterson's post:
Both [athletic director Oliver] Luck and [President James] Clements repeatedly used the target date "July 1, 2012" as the school's expected arrival in the Big 12. When multiple questions were posed to West Virginia's leadership on how they planned to leave before the completion 27-month period - the response was predictably vague.

"Our team and their team were in discussion today, tying to make that happen," Luck said of the negotiations with the Big East office. 
How West Virginia would go about that, the odds are that the answer is money. The Big East may be willing to let the Mountaineers leave early if the school pays far more than the $5 million exit fee. What exactly the amount would be for that, well, as Luck said above, those discussions are currently being held.

Of course, this does not answer every question about this announced move. Generally over the last few weeks when West Virginia was a rumored target of the Big 12, it was always with the caveat that the conference wouldn't bring in another school unless Missouri left the conference first. Well, as of the news that West Virginia had accepted an invitation on Friday, Missouri had yet to announce that it was leaving for the SEC.

Though it's possible that Missouri's announcement could be coming in the next couple of days.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2011 2:53 pm
 

WVU AD Luck: Big East puts together 'strategy'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With the league under siege following the surprise defections of Pitt and Syracuse, the Big East's presidents and athletic directors met in New York Tuesday night to plan the future of the conference. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy has all the pertinent details, including the potential for a revival of Navy or Air Force as possible football-only members

Following the meeting, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck released the following statement:

"President [James P.] Clements and I represented West Virginia University at last night's Big East meeting in New York. The group concluded the meeting with a strategy to recruit top level BCS-caliber institutions that match the league's strong athletic and academic histories and traditions.

"As I stated before, WVU is an excellent flagship, land-grant University, with national-caliber athletic and academic programs. We are, and will remain, a national player in college athletics.

"The conference office will coordinate any further discussion on this issue."

From a conference solidarity perspective, that sure beats Luck's previous statement on the topic, in which the Big East was most conspicuous only by its absence. That Luck is willing to discuss (and, one would assume, contribute to) the league's "strategy" to "recruit" new programs is a sign that for the time being, WVU is giving the Big East its best shot.

But that still doesn't mean that if the SEC or ACC decided to change its tune and listen to the Mountaineers' overtures for membership, WVU wouldn't pack its bags in a heartbeat. (As would any team in WVU's current position, of course, as the Panthers and Orange so comprehensively proved.) Note that Luck's new statement still doesn't bother to commit the school to the Big East for any length of time or in any fashion. It doesn't promote the Big East's "bright future" or "way forward" or any of the other buzzwords typically used in this situation to indicate that the Mountaineers are happy campers in their current digs.

Rest assured, WVU is still looking for a way out. But until that way out emerges, Luck and Clements will no doubt do their best with an awkward situation.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com