The Big East and West Virginia have reached an agreement that will settle the competing lawsuits between the two and will allow West Virginia to play in the Big 12 in 2012. The Big East released a statement announcing it had agreed to terminate West Virginia's membership as part of the agreement. The entire statement is below.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The BIG EAST Conference Board of Directors has voted to terminate West Virginia University’s membership in the Conference, effective June 30, 2012.
This vote is conditioned on WVU fulfilling its obligations under a settlement agreement with the Conference that resolves the litigation between the parties.
West Virginia University has acknowledged and agreed that the Court in Monongalia County, West Virginia, will enter a judgment that the BIG EAST Conference Bylaws are valid and enforceable, and will dismiss with prejudice all of West Virginia’s claims against the Conference." stated John Marinatto Commissioner of the BIG EAST Conference.
The Bylaws establish the circumstances by which a member may unilaterally withdraw from the Conference, which includes payment of an exit fee and a minimum of 27 months’ notice. The Bylaws also provide that the Conference may, by 3/4 vote, terminate the membership of any member and that is the process by which West Virginia University will depart as a member of The BIG EAST Conference.
In deciding to terminate West Virginia University’s membership, the Conference took into account the accusations that WVU asserted against the BIG EAST in the lawsuit that is now being dismissed. The Conference also took into account the steps that West Virginia University was willing to take to resolve the litigation, including the payment of an exit fee well in excess of that required by the Bylaws. In light of all of these factors, the BIG EAST Conference felt that it was in its best interest to terminate West Virginia University’s membership and conclude the litigation.
The BIG EAST Conference wishes the West Virginia University student-athletes success in their future athletic endeavors. With the recent addition of Boise State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, San Diego State University, Southern Methodist University, and the United States Naval Academy, the future for the BIG EAST Conference has never been brighter.
The story from the AP indicates that West Virginia will pay the Big East $20 million as part of the settlement as well. There has been no further announcement on how the Big East will handle the 2012 season since it only has seven members for football next season.