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West Virginia Sues to Leave Big East Next Summer

West Virginia wants to begin playing in the Big 12 next year
Patrick McDermott, Getty Images

After announcing last week that they would be joining the Big 12, West Virginia officials on Monday filed a lawsuit seeking to leave the Big East next summer. Current Big East bylaws require that member schools give 27 months notice before leaving the conference.

In its suit, West Virginia accuses the Big East of breach of contract for failing to do anything to protect the conference’s six remaining football schools once TCU (also leaving for the Big 12), Pittsburgh and Syracuse (both headed to the ACC) had announced they were leaving. West Virginia claims the resulting conference instability left other Big East schools, including Connecticut, Cincinnati and Rutgers in addition to the Mountaineers, with no choice but to reach out to other conferences, as well.

The lawsuit asks the court to either waive the 27-month waiting period or to count a $2.5 million exit payment already made by West Virginia to the conference as a way to waive the requirement.

West Virginia hopes to join the Big 12 next July, while Big East officials say the Mountaineers are not eligible to leave until July 2014.


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