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Big East : West Virginia reaches settlement with conference, set to join Big 12 next season

first_img Published on February 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 The Big East Board of Directors voted to terminate West Virginia’s membership in the Big East at the end of June, according to a statement released by the Big East on Tuesday.The vote stipulates that WVU must fulfill obligations agreed upon between WVU and the Big East, which resolved a lawsuit between the school and conference. West Virginia will be released from the conference on June 30, 2012.‘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,’ Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said in the statement.The conference bylaws state that when a member unilaterally withdraws from the conference, it must pay an exit fee and undergo a 27-month waiting period. However, the bylaws also state that a three-quarters vote by the Big East Conference Board would allow a program to leave immediately, as is the case with WVU.West Virginia will officially join the Big 12 conference in July and begin play in the conference this fall. The conference released its football schedule Tuesday and the Mountaineers will play their first Big 12 game on Sept. 29, when Baylor visits Morgantown, W. Va.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn making its decision to terminate West Virginia, the Big East factored in the accusations that WVU made against the Big East in a lawsuit which is being dismissed, according to the statement. It also considered the process WVU planned to take to resolve the litigation. Those steps included the payment of a higher exit fee than that required by the bylaws, according to the statement.Athletic Director Oliver Luck said in a statement that the agreement prohibited releasing its details. However, no state or taxpayer funds, tuition or academic support funds were used in the settlement, Luck said.‘Our membership in the Big 12 offers WVU significant advantages,’ WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck said in a statement. ‘The Big 12 is a strong and vibrant conference academically and athletically. We look forward to the potential academic and athletic partnerships and financial opportunities that membership in the Big 12 offers.’WVU President Jim Clements emphasized the importance of the school’s move to the Big 12.‘We are in great company in the Big 12, joining a group of world-class research universities – many of them large public land-grant flagship institutions like WVU,’ Clements said in a statement. ‘These schools have quality academics, research, athletic programs, winning traditions and loyal, passionate fans.’The early termination sets a precedent for other schools currently serving that two-plus year exit notice, including Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Both programs informed the Big East of their move to the Atlantic Coast Conference in late September. The Big East is set to add Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and Southern Methodist for all sports in 2013. Boise State and San Diego State will also join in 2013 as football-only members. Navy will join the conference as a football-only member in [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more