Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:38 pm
 

No settlement reached yet between WVU, Big East

Nothing has been resolved between the Big East Conference and West Virginia, a court spokesperson said Thursday morning. 

A Rhode Island judge had previously ordered the parties into non-binding mediation with a Thursday deadline.

“The matter is continued to an unspecified date for another status conference,” Assistant State Court Administrator Craig Berke said in a statement.

Berke said it appears the case “continues on a path toward trial, though Judge Silverstein is certainly open to news of a settlement if that happens in the interim.”

Berke added the judge did not disclose any more information regarding his discussions with attorneys this morning. 

College football industry sources told CBSSports.com that West Virginia and the Big East were nearing a settlement that could be worth $20 million. It’s unknown if that figure includes the $5 million exit fee West Virginia already has paid.

West Virginia officials also have contacted future Big East members to see if one could join in 2012 instead of 2013, sources said. The reason would be to reduce the damages the conference could claim against the Mountaineers by leaving two years earlier than required by the league’s by-laws. 

On Wednesday, Big East commissioner John Marinatto would not comment on how soon the league’s issues with West Virginia would be resolved.

The Mountaineers have said they will not honor the league’s 27-month exit agreement and join the Big 12 this fall. The Big 12 has forwarded its 2012 football schedule, with West Virginia on it, to its television partners. As of Thursday morning, however, the Big 12 still had yet to release its football schedule to the public.



Category: NCAAF
Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 9:15 pm
 

Big East, WVU near $20 million settlement

West Virginia and the Big East Conference are nearing agreement on a settlement worth at least $20 million that would resolve all issues between both parties, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The Mountaineers will join the Big 12 for the 2012-13 school year. However, in a bizarre twist, sources told CBSSports.com that West Virginia officials have contacted future Big East members to see if one could join in 2012 instead of 2013.

The reason is that with West Virginia’s departure to the Big 12, the Big East will be left with only seven football members this fall. Without an immediate replacement for West Virginia, the remaining Big East schools will be scrambling to find a 12th opponent. It’s unknown why West Virginia would assist a league that WVU athletic director Oliver Luck compared to “a ship … seriously going down,” except that it could lower West Virginia’s buyout, sources said.

Luck did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Despite lawsuits filed by West Virginia and the Big East, West Virginia still plans to join the Big 12 this year. The Big 12 has already sent its 2012 schedule, with West Virginia on it, to its television partners and is expected to publicly release the schedule this week.

While WVU has always planned to join in 2012, Big East commissioner John Marinatto has stated on multiple occasions, including Wednesday, that the league would require West Virginia to honor the league’s 27-month exit agreement. However, sources said privately the league has conceded they can’t stop West Virginia from leaving.

The Big East, though, likely would receive substantial monetary damages. Even Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman said his school might seek liquidated damages against WVU after WVU canceled a Sept. 8 game at Florida State, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The $20 million settlement figure is believed to be contingent on the Big East being able to get a replacement for West Virginia in 2012 and certainly could increase if it had to play with only seven members in 2012. It’s unknown if that $20 million figure includes the $5 million West Virginia paid upon notifying the Big East last October it was bolting to the Big 12.

Acting Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas recently told the West Virginia media that the Big 12 would consider assisting the Mountaineers financially with their exit fee, if the school asked.

Marinatto, who was on a teleconference Wednesday to announce Memphis joining the league in 2013, would not comment on whether the Big East is trying to bring in a member in 2012 or if they would help a future member financially to leave its current conference home.

“The question is related to the impending litigation we're involved in on two fronts," Marinatto said. "It would be inappropriate for me to get into specifics about all of that at this point. I'm going to not talk about that."

Boise State, San Diego State, UCF, SMU, Houston and Memphis are scheduled to join the Big East in 2013 with Navy coming on board in 2015. Marinatto added the Big East would not stage a conference championship football game until 2015 when Navy would - at least for now - become its 12th football playing member.

Also, Wednesday night, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that if the Big East does not find a replacement for West Virginia this fall, then Syracuse and Rutgers could play each other twice with both games counting in the conference standings. One game would be played at Rutgers and the second game possibly at Yankee Stadium.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:24 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 7:01 pm
 

Memphis heading to Big East in 2013

Memphis has accepted an offer to join the Big East Conference in all sports in 2013, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The Tigers will join the Big East with three other Conference USA members – Houston, SMU and UCF – for the 2013-14 school year. The Big East also will add Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members in 2013 and Navy in 2015.

Memphis will hold a press conference Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET in the Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame Assembly Room to officially announce the move to the Big East.

When contacted by CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish about the move to the Big East Monday, Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson declined comment.

While the addition of Memphis is for all sports, the Tigers' men's basketball program would help offset the future losses of men’s basketball powers Syracuse, West Virginia and Pittsburgh.

When Memphis joins the league, it’s unknown what the Big East’s football and basketball membership will consist of. That’s because West Virginia appears it will join the Big 12 this summer and will not honor the Big East’s 27-month exit requirement. However, both WVU and the Big East have filed lawsuits against each other and a Rhode Island judge ordered the parties into non-binding mediation with a deadline of Thursday.

If West Virginia is allowed to leave early, sources told CBSSports.com that Pittsburgh and Syracuse also would try to leave for the ACC but not until 2013. Although sources said it’s “technically not too late” for Pitt and Syracuse to join the ACC for the 2012 season, the two schools will remain in the Big East in 2012, but would likely negotiate to join the ACC in 2013, a year ahead of schedule.

On Friday, the ACC announced that Pitt would compete in the Coastal Division and Syracuse in the Atlantic Division when it joins the ACC.

ACC commissioner John Swofford would not speculate whether his league would help Pitt and Syracuse financially to leave the Big East before 2014, but told CBSSports.com “our position continues to be that we want to prepare ourselves when they’re ready and it’s appropriate for them to join us.”

If Pitt and Syracuse leave in 2013, then the Big East could be left with 11 football members – Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Boise State, San Diego State and Memphis. Also the league would have 17 basketball members: Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF, Houston, SMU, Memphis, Notre Dame, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova, Providence and DePaul.

Posted on: February 4, 2012 11:28 am
Edited on: February 4, 2012 11:59 am
 

More evidence WVU to Big 12? WVU cancels FSU game

If you're looking for more evidence West Virginia is likely headed to the Big 12 this fall, the Mountaineers canceled their Sept. 8 game at Florida State, sources told CBSSports.com.

West Virginia originally had its 2012 schedule formatted for eight conference games as a Big East member - that's before TCU's decision to join the Big 12. But if the Mountaineers join the Big 12 this fall, they will have nine conference games and had to drop one contest.

Florida State released a statement Saturday morning confirming West Virginia's decision.

"We were informed in writing late Friday afternoon of West Virginia University’s intention to cancel its 2012 football game with Florida State University scheduled for Sept. 8 in Tallahassee," Florida State AD Randy Spetman said. "We are disappointed for our coaches, players and fans that this game will not take place as originally scheduled.

"We now face the challenge of completing our 2012 schedule just seven months before the start of the season. We will work quickly and diligently to fill the hole on our schedule and will communicate with our season ticket holders and fans as the process moves forward."

The Mountaineers must pay Florida State at least $500,000 because they cancelled the game less than 12 months before kickoff, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

Florida State's best option to replace West Virginia is one of the remaining seven Big East teams, all of which will need at least one game if WVU leaves for the Big 12. The most likely candidates to replace WVU on Florida State's schedule would be future ACC members Pitt or Syracuse.
Posted on: January 23, 2012 8:49 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 4:53 pm
 

Navy to join Big East football in 2015

In December, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told CBSSports.com Navy would be joining the Big East as a football-only member but wasn’t sure when.

The Midshipmen have made that decision.

On Tuesday, Navy will announce it is joining the Big East as a football-only member in 2015, sources told CBSSports.com. After more than 130 years playing as an independent, the Midshipmen will join a conference.

In 2013, the Big East is adding Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and UCF, Houston and SMU as all sports members, but Gladchuk previously said it was unlikely Navy could solve a myriad of its scheduling problems and television contracts in that short of time. Navy has games scheduled through 2017 and television contracts with CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports (Navy-Army game) through 2018, Gladchuk said.

“We’re breaking away from a lifelong commitment as an independent and we have a better television deal than a lot of conferences,” Gladchuk told CBSSports.com last month. “We can’t do that without a mutual understanding with the Big East. The good news is [Big East commissioner] John [Marinatto] has been receptive of talking this though.”

With the addition of Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, UCF, SMU and Navy and the departures of West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the Big East will have at least 11 football members when Navy comes on board in 2015.

Marinatto has said repeatedly the league is seeking a 12-team football league and there’s a possibility the league could add another football member by the 2013 season, sources said.

“We’re bringing some sizzle to the steak,” Gladchuk said last month about Navy’s move to the Big East. “That’s why we’re excited about the possibility of the Big East and the Big East is excited about us. We (Navy and the Big East) would both like to get to the goal line.”

Air Force and Army also have been targeted by the Big East, but Air Force said it will remain in the Mountain West and Army wants to remain an independent. Gladchuk said the decisions by Air Force and Army not to join the Big East would not have any impact on Navy’s decision.

“The thinking from Colorado Springs is fully removed from Annapolis – there are no tentacles attached,” Gladchuk said. “We’ll make our decision based on what’s best for us.”

Gladchuk has said the league’s stability was important before the Midshipmen would join. The Big East currently is one of the lucrative six automatic qualifying BCS conferences, but there is a possibility the AQ BCS status may not exist when the new BCS cycle begins in 2014.

Gladchuk said last month that was something Navy would consider.

With Navy headed to the Big East in 2015, there remains no definitive answer how long West Virginia will remain in the league. West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh are all bound by the conference bylaw requiring 27 months notice, the Big East claims.

However, West Virginia has filed a lawsuit to leave and join the Big 12 in 2012, while the Big East also has filed a lawsuit to keep West Virginia from leaving early. Mountaineers athletic director Oliver Luck told CBSSports.com last month WVU still plans to join the Big 12 next season.

A Rhode Island judge has ordered the league and West Virginia into non-binding mediation to try and resolve the lawsuits.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse are scheduled to join the ACC on July 1, 2014 and have given no indication the two schools would not honor the 27-month notice.

Navy’s announcement Tuesday that it will join the Big East also will increase the Big East’s exit fees from $5 million to $10 million if any other current teams leave the league. WVU, Pitt, Syracuse and TCU all had to pay a $5 million exit fee.




Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:24 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 11:25 pm
 

Alabama, LSU, Okla State top my AP ballot

NEW ORLEANS – Based on Alabama’s dominating performance in Monday night’s BCS title game, the Crimson Tide are ranked No. 1 on my final Associated Press ballot.

Alabama (12-1) was ranked No. 3 on my final regular season ballot, but the Tide were impressive enough to leap LSU and Oklahoma State. LSU (13-1) may have had the most impressive regular season in college football history, but I only ranked the Tigers No. 2

Despite Oklahoma State’s victory against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl, I dropped the Cowboys from No. 2 to No. 3. Their victory wasn’t dominating enough for me to keep Oklahoma State (12-1) in my top two.

Here is my final AP ballot for 2011. Last week’s rankings in parenthesis.
 
1. Alabama (3)
The Crimson Tide finished 12-1, defeating LSU in the BCS title game.

2. LSU (1)
The Tigers finished 13-1, losing to Alabama in the BCS title game.

3. Oklahoma State (2)
The Cowboys finished 12-1, defeating Stanford 41-38 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl.

4. Oregon (4)
The Ducks finished 12-2, defeating Wisconsin 45-38 in the Rose Bowl.

5. Boise State (6)
The Broncos finished 12-1, defeating Arizona State 56-24 in Las Vegas Bowl.

6. Arkansas (8)
The Razorbacks finished 11-2, defeating Kansas State 29-16 in the Cotton Bowl.

7. USC (9)
The Trojans finished 10-2 and were not eligible for a bowl game.

8. Stanford (5)
The Cardinal finished 11-2, losing to Oklahoma State 41-38 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl.

9. South Carolina (10)
The Gamecocks finished 11-2, defeating Nebraska 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl.

10. Wisconsin (7)
The Badgers finished 11-3, losing to Oregon 45-38 in the Rose Bowl.

11. Michigan (12)
The Wolverines finished 11-2, defeating Virginia Tech 23-20 in overtime in the Sugar Bowl.

12. Michigan State (15)
The Spartans finished 11-3, defeating Georgia 33-30 in triple overtime in the Outback Bowl.

13. Baylor (13)
The Bears finished 10-3, defeating Washington 67-56 in the Alamo Bowl.

14. TCU (17)
The Horned Frogs finished 11-2, defeating Louisiana Tech 31-24 in the Poinsettia Bowl.

15. Georgia (16)
The Bulldogs finished 10-4, losing to Michigan State 33-30 in triple overtime in the Outback Bowl.

16. Oklahoma (20)
The Sooners finished 10-3, defeating Iowa 31-14 in the Insight Bowl.

17. Kansas State (11)
The Wildcats finished 10-3, losing to Arkansas 29-16 in the Cotton Bowl.

18. West Virginia (24)
The Mountaineers finished 10-3, defeating Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.

19. Florida State (19)
The Seminoles finished 9-4, defeating Notre Dame 18-14 in the Champs Sports Bowl.

20. Southern Miss (21)
The Golden Eagles finished 12-2, defeating Nevada 24-17 in the Hawaii Bowl.

21. Houston (22)
The Cougars finished 12-1, defeating Penn State 30-14 in the Ticket City Bowl.

22. Nebraska (18)
The Cornhuskers finished 9-4, losing to South Carolina 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl.

23. Clemson (14)
The Tigers finished 10-4, losing to West Virginia 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.

24. Virginia Tech (23)
The Hokes finished 11-3, losing to Michigan 23-20 in overtime in the Sugar Bowl.

25. Cincinnati (NR)
The Bearcats finished 10-3, defeating Vanderbilt 31-24 in the Liberty Bowl.



Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 1:54 pm
 

Notre Dame football remaining independent

NEW YORK – Notre Dame to the ACC? Notre Dame to the Big Ten? How about Notre Dame to the Big 12 or SEC?

It’s not going to happen, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Thursday.

The Irish plan to remain an independent in football and are confident with the future of the Big East after the league introduced five new members Wednesday. The majority of Notre Dame’s non-football schools compete in the Big East, which allows Notre Dame to be an independent in football.

However, there had been some speculation that because of the league's uncertainty, Notre Dame might be forced to join another conference in football.

“We’re thrilled with the announcement of the Big East’s new members and we think it delivers on the (league’s) stability,” Swarbrick told CBSSports.com. “It’s great news for the Big East and it’s a great home for us for most of our sports.”

The Big East announced Wednesday Boise State and San Diego State would join the league in football-only in 2013 and add Houston, UCF and SMU in all sports. By the Big East remaining together, it allows Notre Dame to compete as a Big East member in virtually all sports but football, while remaining a football independent.

“Father (John) Jenkins was trying to provide leadership to help the Big East navigate through this period of time,” Swarbrick said of Notre Dame’s president. “We welcome the new Big East members and we think it speaks to the future vitality and stability of the Big East.”

With the addition of Houston, UCF and SMU in 2013 and if West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse remain in the league until June 30, 2014 as scheduled, that means during the 2013-14 school year the Big East would have at least 19 basketball members.

“It doesn’t scare me,” Swarbrick said. “You could figure out a way to set up the schedule. The amount of time they’ve spent determining how many teams will play in the Big East tournament is another story. I think it’s manageable.”

Swarbrick said he would defer to the conference whether West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse should be allowed to leave a year early in 2013 when the new members are added.

The biggest question Swarbrick said he gets from the media and when he travels around the country at speaking engagements is whether the Irish will remain an independent in football.

He estimated he speaks each year at between 80-100 Notre Dame clubs or fundraisers in association with a Fighting Irish game.

“You can’t do a Q/A without one of those (questions about if Notre Dame is joining a conference),” Swarbrick said. “They (Notre Dame’s fan base) are pretty clear: they want status quo and national championships.

“It’s easy,” he joked.

Status quo as a football independent and national championships.

“But not in that order, that’s exactly right,” Swarbrick said.

Posted on: December 7, 2011 7:38 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Big East: different look, but same name

NEW YORK – First things first: the Big East Conference, stretching four time zones from the East Coast to the West Coast, is not undergoing a name change.

It will remain the Big East.

It will, however, look much, much different.

On Wednesday, the league announced that Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF would join the league in 2013. Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sport members.

And even with the addition of those five schools, Big East commissioner John Marinatto said the league has no plans to allow West Virginia (to the Big 12) and Syracuse and Pittsburgh (to the ACC) to leave before June 30, 2014, as required by conference by-laws.

“The additions that we're making today have no impact whatsoever in regard to our commitment and our belief that our schools that are leaving would fulfill the 27‑month requirement clause that's currently in our bylaws,” Marinatto said. “The bylaws are the bylaws are the bylaws. They represent the agreements between the conference schools. I think there's an understanding amongst all of our schools that an early departure and a violation of those bylaws would do damage to the schools that are remaining. As a result, two of our schools have indicated that they respect that process and they understand it.”

Those two schools are Syracuse and Pittsburgh. West Virginia, however, has filed a lawsuit to join the Big 12 next season. The Big East also has filed a lawsuit to make West Virginia honor the exit agreement until 2014.

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told CBSSports.com Wednesday that even if the league compromised and allowed the Mountaineers to leave a year early in 2013, their plans are still to join the Big 12 next season.

“That doesn’t change,” Luck told CBSSports.com.

Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said his school is prepared to honor the 27-month exit agreement, but told CBSSports.com “we’re just open to seeing what happens.”

“They’re starting to put together what the new Big East will look like,” Gross said. “As they go forward to put together new multi-media deals, they’re going to need us to move out of the way. We’re waiting for that.”

Marinatto said that was not the case. So if West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse must remain in the league through June 30, 2014, that means the Big East in 2013 would consist of at least 13 teams in football and 19 schools in basketball.

Officials at Air Force, which was a target of the Big East as a football-only member, told the Gazette Wednesday, that it would remain in the Mountain West. Navy, however, remains a viable target, but won’t make any decisions this week that would take attention away from Saturday’s Army-Navy game.

The new Big East is certainly bigger than any conference out there. It’s got a bigger footprint than even Bigfoot.

“We've envisioned the premise that we could theoretically on any given Saturday have four kickoffs that don't compete with each other,” Marinatto said. “We think, as I mentioned earlier, that's a very powerful model as we move forward in our upcoming TV negotiations.”

Those will begin in 2012. The Big East first must give ESPN the first opportunity as its currents rights holder and if they don’t reach a deal by November 2012 then the Big East could negotiate with other networks such as Fox or NBC/Comcast.

NCAA President Mark Emmert, without specially mentioning the Big East, discussed schools leaving non-automatic BCS qualifying conferences (such as Boise State, Houston, San Diego State, UCF and SMU) for an automatic qualifying BCS conference such as the Big East.

“There’s a lot of motivation’s going on (with expansion), clearly the BCS automatic qualifying position is driving a lot of this,” Emmert said at the IMG Forum at the Marriott Marquis. “Nobody wants to lose their AQ rights in the BCS and, of course, one of the ironies is the BCS is going to be refined again (in 2014).”

And if there remains BCS AQ conferences at that time, the Big East feels strongly it will remain one.

“Part of our objectives in expansion was to create the best conference we could both on the football side as well as other sports,” Marinatto said. “We recognize obviously the departure of the schools leaving the conference affected us. But we always felt confident that if we made the right moves, we would keep our BCS AQ status and we've done that.”

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com