West Virginia, that school that is suing the Big East to try to get out of the 27 month exit period to get into the Big XII, apparently really needs their lawsuit to work. According to a story posted by Barry Tramel (Mitch Vingle has a similar story here)
Neinas said West Virginia’s invitation to the Big 12 is contingent on the Mountaineers being available for the 2012 season. What? What does that mean? Does that mean if WVU can’t get out of its Big East commitments, the deal is off? Is that why West Virginia spent virtually no time negotiating with the Big East and went straight to a lawsuit? Big East bylaws declare a buyout ($5 million in this case) and a 27-month notification. What does the Big 12 do if West Virginia is handcuffed to the Big East in 2012?
Neinas refers to Big XII interim commissioner Chuck Neinas. As far as the Mountaineers acceptance being based on their 2012 availability, that's the first we've heard of it. However, Tramel does ask a good question: is the deal really off if West Virginia can't get out of the Big East in time? If that's the case, does the Big 12 then turn to BYU to try to get to 10 teams again (if Missouri ever actually leaves for the SEC that is) to save their TV contract?
This is getting really sloppy and I guess we should anticipate seeing conference realignment drag on through basketball season.
UPDATE (2:46 p.m.): ESPN's David Ubben just tweeted the following: From the Big 12 office: "WVU membership in the Big 12 is not contingent upon joining the conference for the 2012-13 season." So I guess that settles that?