WVU, Big East Reach Settlement Agreement - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU, Big East Reach Settlement Agreement

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MORGANTOWN -

UPDATE: A source close to West Virginia University says the Big East has accepted WVU's settlement offer. That clears the way for WVU to become a full member of the Big 12 beginning July 1 without any further potential legal issues.

An official announcement is expected sometime Friday.

 


 

West Virginia University remains adamant that it will be a member of the Big 12 on July 1. The Big East continues to stand firm on its assumption that West Virginia will be a member of the Big East until July 1, 2014.

Clearly there is big difference between the two.

A source close to West Virginia University confirmed WVU has offered the Big East a settlement figure. This source indicated it is a "significant amount of money" and the "most offered by any school to ever leave a conference." Numerous published reports indicate the settlement offer to be $11 million while other reports indicate it is much higher at around $20 million.

WVU made this offer to the Big East roughly two weeks ago and is still waiting for an answer. This source indicated the offer could be removed in the near future if West Virginia University believes the Big East does not intend to negotiate in good faith.

There are simultaneous lawsuits ongoing between WVU and the Big East. The first was filed by WVU in Monongalia County while the Big East file the other lawsuit in Rhode Island. Judge Russell Clawges has repeatedly denied the Big East's request to dismiss the case in West Virginia. Meanwhile, the lawsuit in Rhode Island was ordered to undergo mediation. Both sides reported back to the court on Thursday.

A statement from the Rhode Island court read, "The Rhode Island case continues on a path toward trial, though Judge Silverstein is certainly open to news of a settlement if that happens in the interim."

This source close to the University said both court cases are "clearly going our way."

If no settlement is reached, the case in West Virginia is approaching the point of depositions, which would put numerous Big East presidents and Commissioner John Marinatto in the position of having to answer questions by West Virginia University lawyers. It would also give WVU access to e-mails and documents.

"That would be embarrassing to these Big East presidents to have to be deposed," this source stated.

As more and more rulings continue to go West Virginia's way, the Big East will feel more and more pressure to settle.

"It's a very fair offer," said the source.

This source said that no settlement has been reached, at least not yet. However; he or she continues to hope one is near. That would clear all legal hurdles for West Virginia to move to the Big 12 on July 1.

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