West Virginia to the Big 12: Mountaineers Lawsuit Could Clear Way Next Week

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2011

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - OCTOBER 29:  West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen looks on during a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Point Solutions Stadium on October 29, 2011 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Conference realignment was one of the biggest stories during the college football season, but one of the more contentious departures—West Virginia to the Big 12—could be resolved in a matter of days.

The university filed a motion to dismiss the Big East’s breach of contract suit filed against it in Providence, Rhode Island. WVU wants the lawsuit filed in Monongalia County, West Virginia to be the only one to go to trial.

A hearing on the Big East’s suit happened last week, and Judge Michael Silverstein said he wants to make a ruling on the case sometime next week.

West Virginia is trying its best to join the Big 12 by July 1, 2012 so it can play games in the conference for the 2012 season. A trial is currently set for June 25, 2012.

Obviously, a peaceful agreement between the two parties would be ideal. But Big East commissioner John Marinatto has repeatedly stated that West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will be held to the conference’s 27-month waiting period even though the conference has added Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Southern Methodist and Central Florida. TCU is exempt from it because it never played any games in the conference.

The Big 12 and ACC are hoping that these issues are resolved as soon as possible so they can add their new members for 2012, but it is highly unlikely that they would get involved in any lawsuit.

We should know a lot more about this situation by Christmas.