West Virginia and Big East Reportedly Settle Lawsuit: Big 12 Bound

DJ BumgarnerContributor IIIFebruary 10, 2012

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 25: A member of the West Virginia Mountaineers holds up his helmet before the take the field against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers during the 2011 Backyard Brawl on November 25, 2011 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

According to reports from the Charleston Daily Mail, West Virginia and the Big East conference have reached a settlement in the ongoing battle where the Mountaineers had informed the conference they would be leaving for The Big 12 this year.

It appears the Mountaineers will pay up $11 million with the Big 12 schools forking over the rest to reach a $20 million settlement that will allow WVU to exit the conference this year and begin play in the Big 12 this September.

With West Virginia gone, the Big East has a real problem on hand trying to replace the Mountaineers this fall for football, with each conference member now being down one game.

It's entirely possible that the settlement from WVU could be used to buy another team in to take WVU's place this year for conference play, but that remains to be seen.

With the Big East behind them, West Virginia can now look forward to what looks to be a great selection of games ahead. While I'm sure most fans would have loved to see the Mountaineers play Florida State, it just was not possible given the schedule.

With teams like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas visiting Morgantown, things should really heat up, and I expect the Mountaineers to compete right away with the likes of Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Dustin Garrison all returning this year.

I look forward to the future of athletics in Morgantown and in the Big 12.