Tag:Big 12
Posted on: October 31, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 9:59 am
 

West Virginia filing suit vs. Big East




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.


Posted on: October 28, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 2:05 pm
 

WVU, Big East differ on departure date

Will West Virginia stay or will they go? More specifically, when will they go?

Actually, the Mountaineers are gone – they’re leaving the Big East for the Big 12. But there seems to be a, well, slight difference of opinion when West Virginia actually will join the Big 12. 

The Big East has a 27-month notification period to leave – the league has said multiple times Pittsburgh and Syracuse can’t leave for the ACC until June 1, 2014 – but the Big 12 and West Virginia indicate they’ll join forces next year.

Following CBSSports.com’s report, the Big East and Big 12 released statements this morning within a few minutes of each other. 

The Big 12’s version:

“The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors have voted unanimously to accept West Virginia University as a full conference member effective July 1, 2012.  The Mountaineers will begin competing in the Big 12 beginning with the 2012-13 athletic season.” 

The Big East’s version from Commissioner John Marinatto:

“This move by West Virginia does not come as a surprise. League officials, members of our conference and the candidate schools to whom we have been talking were aware of this possibility. We have taken West Virginia’s possible departure into account as we have moved forward with our own realignment plans. West Virginia is fully aware that the Big East Conference is committed to enforcing the 27-month notification period for members who choose to leave the conference. We are confident that in the coming weeks we will complete our own realignment program, adding a number of high-quality members to remain among the top conferences in both football and basketball.” 

So the Big 12 and West Virginia say West Virginia is joining the Big 12 next season, while the Big East says it “is committed to enforcing the 27-month notification period.”

Multiple Big East sources have said they have no indication that the league would change its 27-month notification rule. Marinatto has said previously he was prepared to have a 14-team football league, including Pitt and Syracuse along with its new members, in 2012 and/or 2013. If West Virginia doesn't leave next season, it conceivably could be a 15-team football league in 2012/2013.

This, my friends, could get interesting.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 28, 2011 9:32 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 12:36 pm
 

WVU to Big 12; what's next for Big East

West Virginia has accepted an offer to join the Big 12 Conference, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com Friday.

The Mountaineers informed the Big East Friday morning that they were leaving the league. The Big 12 is expected to officially announce the invitation later today.

The Big 12's board of directors voted Friday morning and chose West Virginia over Louisville. The Big 12 will stay at 10 schools, a source said.

On Tuesday, West Virginia had received a verbal offer to join the Big 12, but then the league put the Mountaineers on hold because the league’s board of directors wanted to perform “due diligence.”

The league was split between adding West Virginia or Louisville to replace Missouri, which is expected to leave the league for the SEC.

"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. "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."

Missouri still hasn’t officially left the Big 12. The Tigers are still negotiating an exit fee to leave the league. The SEC’s Digital Network, an official website of the SEC, accidentally posted a story Thursday night that Missouri would join the SEC on July 1, 2012.

West Virginia will join the Big 12 in 2012-13, the Big 12 announced. Missouri is expected to join the SEC next season. West Virginia will have to pay a $5 million exit fee. That figure would have been $10 million if the Mountaineers would have informed the league after Navy or Air Force joined the league, which they have not.

West Virginia is the latest team to announce it's leaving the Big East Conference. Pittsburgh and Syracuse are headed to the ACC and Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said both schools would not be able to leave until July 1, 2014.

TCU, which was scheduled to join the Big East next season, will join the Big 12 and begin play next season. The Horned Frogs were not bound by the 27-month requirement since they left the Big East before they officially joined.

With the Big 12 only taking West Virginia - and not taking Louisville as well - the Big East’s chances of retaining its BCS automatic qualifying status in 2014 is greatly improved.

The Big East is seeking a 12-team football league and is expected to issue invitations to Boise State, Air Force, Navy, Houston, SMU and Central Florida. That would increase the football membership to 11 teams.

On Friday morning, UCF's board of trustees voted unanimously to give UCF President John Hitt the authority to make decisions about conference affiliation. A day earlier, Houston's board of regents granted President Renu Khator the authority for the Cougars to change conferences. UCF and Houston are both currently in Conference USA.

On Wednesday, Marinatto and associate commissioner Nick Carparelli visited Air Force officials in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Thursday visited Boise State officials in Boise.

"We appreciate the effort John Marinatto is putting forth stabilizing the Big East," Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said Friday morning. "We're in the bullpen watching this unfold, doing our due diligence waiting for the dust to settle. When it does, we'll decide what is best for Navy."

With the loss of West Virginia, the Big East would need a 12th member. Sources have told CBSSports.com that the Big East’s potential Western schools are in favor of adding BYU. It’s unknown if the Cougars would be interested, but the fact the Big 12 will stay at 10 schools may increase BYU's chances of joining the Big East as a football-only member.

Temple also is a very strong candidate as the 12th member.

The Big East could extend official invitations next week. The league’s presidents are scheduled to meet with Marinatto in Philadelphia on Tuesday.


Posted on: October 26, 2011 10:54 pm
 

Big East officials visit Air Force, Boise State

Big East commissioner John Marinatto and associate commissioner Nick Carparelli flew to Colorado Springs Wednesday to meet with Air Force officials and were scheduled to meet with Boise State officials in Boise, Idaho, on Thursday, a source told CBSSports.com.

Boise State and Air Force are among six schools the Big East hopes to add to replace the defections of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and TCU.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Marinatto and Carparelli met with Air Force superintendent Michael Gould, athletic director Hans Mueh and football coach Troy Calhoun on Wednesday.

Thursday’s meeting between Boise State and the Big East will be the second in five days. On Sunday, Boise State, along with officials from Navy, Houston, SMU and UCF met with Marinatto and representatives from other Big East schools in Washington D.C., CBSSports.com reported.

Air Force officials were not able to attend that meeting.

On Tuesday, the Big East’s presidents and chancellors have a meeting scheduled in Philadelphia, where they could give Marinatto the green light to add new members.

The addition of Boise State, Navy, Houston, SMU, UCF and Air Force would get the Big East up to 12 members – until West Virginia or Louisville leaves the league.

West Virginia appeared headed to the Big 12 when the league informed the Mountaineers Tuesday they would receive an official invitation to replace Missouri in the Big 12. However, later that day, the league contacted West Virginia and told the school they were undecided between WVU and Louisville.

A source told CBSSports.com the Big 12’s board of directors needed to “perform due diligence” before making a final decision.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the Big 12 also is considering adding both West Virginia and Louisville, which could prove fatal to the Big East’s hopes of retaining its BCS automatic qualifying status in 2014.

Oklahoma State uber-booster Boone Pickens told the Oklahoman Wednesday he had a concern with the distance between West Virginia and the other Big 12 schools.

“That's pretty isolated,” Pickens said. “To me, you go out here to West Virginia, you're going to go a long way. I didn't like the Pac-10 for that reason.”


Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 2:48 pm
 

How close did Big 12 come to adding WVU?

How close was the Big 12 to announcing West Virginia as its newest member?

As of Tuesday, Big 12 officials, including interim commissioner Chuck Neinas and deputy commissioner Tim Weiser, planned to be in Morgantown, W.Va. today to announce West Virginia was headed to the Big 12.

The Big 12 had told West Virginia officials the Mountaineers were the choice to replace Missouri and the Big 12 even had a press release prepared.

But before the Big 12 could make it official, the league’s board of directors wanted to perform due diligence and decided to hold off on officially inviting West Virginia.

The reason was simple: the Big 12 had always been deciding between West Virginia, Louisville or BYU as a replacement for Missouri, when it leaves for the SEC. Now the league is split between West Virginia and Louisville, multiple sources have said.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that it’s “too close to call” between West Virginia and Louisville. The West Virginia Metro News reported the Big 12 told West Virginia officials the Big 12 board would vote on which school to add perhaps as early as Monday.

Also, the multiple reports that indicated Big East commissioner John Marinatto would meet with Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowksy and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson today "were not accurate," Big East spokesman John Paquette told CBSSports.com Tuesday. Paquette also reiterated today that Marinatto did not meet today Banowsky and Thompson.

C-USA and the MWC hope to merge with the Big East in some fashion to obtain a BCS automatic qualifying bid. However, the Big East still plans on forming a 12-team football league with the addition of Boise State, Navy, Air Force, UCF, Houston and SMU to join USF, UConn, Rutgers, Cincinnati and either Louisville or West Virginia.

The Big East would have to seek another school to replace West Virginia or Louisville. Temple would be the most likely candidate, but the possible new Western members are interested in pursuing BYU to replace WVU or UL.


Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: October 25, 2011 6:36 pm
 

WVU headed to Big 12 if Missouri leaves

Shortly after Missouri officially announces it is withdrawing from the Big 12, West Virginia will be extended an invitation to join the Big 12, college football industry sources told CBSSports.com.

The Mountaineers invitation to the Big 12 is contingent on Missouri leaving for the SEC. Once Missouri notifies the Big 12 it is leaving, the Mountaineers' official invitation could come within "24-48 hours," a source said. 

The Mountaineers would be the latest to leave the Big East Conference. Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced they are leaving for the ACC and TCU will join the Big 12 next season.

If West Virginia informs the Big East of its intention to leave before the league adds Navy or Air Force, the Mountaineers would only be held to a $5 million exit fee. If the Big East has added Navy or Air Force before the Mountaineers notify the Big East, they would have to pay $10 million. Either way, the Mountaineers would not be able to leave the Big East until June 30, 2014 – the same time frame as Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

Without West Virginia, Pitt, Syracuse and TCU, the remaining football league members are UConn, Rutgers, USF, Louisville and Cincinnati.

Two days ago in Washington D.C., Big East commissioner John Marinatto met with officials from Boise State, Houston, SMU, UCF and Navy, but no official invitations were extended. Air Force did not attend the meeting. Representatives from other Big East schools also attended.

The Big East hopes to add those schools – along with Air Force – to get to a 12-team football league. Even if the Big East adds those schools, without West Virginia, they still would need another school.

The Western contingent of the Big East's possible future members - Boise State, Air Force, Houston and SMU - are pushing for the Big East to pursue BYU. It's unknown if the Cougars, who had talks with the Big 12, would be interested in joining a 12-team Big East.

If the Big East could land BYU - along with the other six new schools - it would have two divisions: West - BYU, Air Force, Houston, SMU, Boise State and Louisville and East - UConn, Rutgers, USF, Cincinnati, Navy and UCF that Big East officials are confident would be worthy of retaining its BCS automatic qualifying status.

Besides BYU, other possible candidates for the Big East's 12th member would be Temple or East Carolina.

On Tuesday afternoon, Big East spokesman John Paquette told CBSSports.com that a Las Vegas Journal report that Marinatto would meet with Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky and Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson Wednesday in New York about a merger between the leagues was inaccurate.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Big East talks expansion; contacts UH, SMU

Officials at Houston and SMU have both been contacted by Big East commissioner John Marinatto and have been told the league wants to discuss with them further about joining the league, sources told CBSSports.com.

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday night that Houston had been extended an invitation. However, league sources said no official invitations have been extended to any teams. The Big East also released a statement Saturday that no invitations have been extended.

On Tuesday afternoon, Marinatto held a media teleconference, but would not identify specific schools but did admit he's had preliminary discussions with several schools.

Those schools are Boise State, Navy, Air Force, UCF, Houston and SMU, sources said.

Marinatto said he's confident the Big East will remain an automatic qualifying BCS conference when the new cycle begins in 2014 and didn't provide a timetable on adding teams to replace TCU, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

"Stay tuned," he said. "We're not rushing ourselves to meet anyone's deadline. The sooner, the better."

Marinatto reiterated that the Big East would not allow Pittsburgh or Syracuse to leave the league early and must honor the 27-month exit agreement. Pitt and Syracuse will remain in the Big East through June 30, 2014, meaning the Big East could have a 14-team football league in 2013 if necessary, Marinatto said.

A college football industry source indicated the fact the ACC has to wait until then is not a big deal to the league. "It just gives the ACC more time to get organized and get their schedules set," the source said.

On Monday night, the Big East’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to increase the league’s exit fee to $10 million, but the increased fee is contingent on either Navy or Air Force joining the league as football only members, sources told CBSSports.com.

Marinatto confirmed the increase in the exit fee, but would not identify the school that would trigger the increased exit fee.

The increased exit fees from $5 million to $10 million for the football schools were something Navy and Air Force wanted before committing to the Big East.

"I don't think anyone will be blindsided or feel bushwhacked when this process is complete," Marinatto said.

Navy, Air Force and Boise State are interested to joining the Big East because of the league's automatic qualifying BCS status, but wanted a bigger financial commitment from the remaining members (Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia).

Sources said Houston and SMU – along with UCF – are prepared to accept an invitation to join the Big East as all sports members once an official invitation is extended.

UCF met with Marinatto and other Big East representatives in Cincinnati on Friday. Boise State officials spoke via telephone with the Big East on Thursday.

Marinatto is in the process of scheduling a meeting with Houston and SMU officials in the coming days in New York, sources said.

The Big East wants to get to 12 football teams with the addition of Navy, Air Force and Boise State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and UCF as all-sports members.

However, the Big East still could lose a school if Missouri leaves for the SEC. The New York Times reported Monday night that Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 to the SEC is “inevitable and imminent.” If so, the Big 12 could target either Louisville or West Virginia or even add both teams. BYU also remains an expansion candidate for the Big 12.

Marinatto said the Big East would move quickly in expanding and "is not going to pause" and wait on "the Missouri situation."

Marinatto also said he has not been contacted by any other conferences interested in any Big East schools since TCU left for the Big 12. When the league gets to 12 schools, Marinatto said it's a possibility the Big East could hold its football championship game in New York, similar to the Big East basketball tournament.

Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 9:46 pm
 

Big East fee increase depends on Navy, Air Force

The Big East’s presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Monday night to increase the league’s exit fee to $10 million, but the increased fee is contingent on Navy and Air Force joining the league as football only members, sources told CBSSports.com.

The increase in exit fees from $5 million to $10 million is expected to increase the probability of adding Navy and Air Force as football-only members. Both schools are receptive to joining the Big East, but wanted a bigger financial commitment from the remaining members (Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia).

Sources with knowledge of Monday's teleconference also said that there is no timetable to issue invitations. The Big East previously had indicated a desire to get to 12 football members after losing TCU to the Big 12 and Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC.

Less than an hour before the Big East’s presidents and chancellors held their teleconference Monday night with Commissioner John Marinatto, the New York Times reported Missouri’s departure from the Big 12 to the SEC was “inevitable and imminent.”

That development would have a significant impact on the league, specifically Big East members Louisville and West Virginia, who sources have told CBSSports.com are prime candidates to receive a Big 12 invitation if Missouri left. However, all of the Big East’s 14 members still voted unanimously for the increased exit fee Monday night.

Besides Navy and Air Force, the Big East also has had conversations with Boise State about becoming a football-only member and with UCF about joining as an all sports member.

As of Saturday, the Big East “felt confident about their discussions with Boise State,” a college football industry source told CBSSports.com.

“That’s the most important factor, the stability of the core membership,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told CBSSports.com Monday night.

Gladchuk said that the possibility of adding Boise State was significant in Navy’s decision making process. “Absolutely,” Gladchuk said. “Anything that helps stabilize the Big East’s automatic BCS berth.”

Boise State president Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman Saturday the Broncos have notified the Mountain West Conference that it is definitely staying or leaving the league.

“If by some strange chance somebody came to us and said we’d like to invite you to join our conference, I’d have to say, ‘Well, you’ll have to give us time to do our due diligence and really spend the time on it.’ We’re not ready,” Kustra told the Statesman. “I have no idea how fast or slow this whole process is going to move.”

Last week Boise State coach Chris Petersen said he was not concerned about the extra travel that would be required by competing in the Big East.

“For us, it’s not that big of a deal (with) how we travel,” Petersen told the Statesman. “You get on a plane, you charter. You’re in and out. You’re on a plane four hours instead of two. Whatever. All that’s doable.

“Do all the other things make sense? And I think that, don’t kid yourself, these guys (Kustra and interim athletic director Curt Apsey) are all over it. They’re analyzing everything.”

UCF is ready to join the Big East, multiple sources told CBSSports.com, and is just awaiting an official invitation to the league.

UCF officials met with Marinatto and other Big East representatives Friday in Cincinnati. “We were very impressed with them,” a league source said. “It went well. I can’t imagine it dragging out too long with them.”

The league also is targeting Houston and SMU as potential all-sports members to get to 12 football members. If the Big East lost any schools to the Big 12 or other conferences, the next likely candidates the Big East would pursue would be Temple and East Carolina.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com