Thursday, February 2, 2012

Big 12 Drama

Most of the football-related news yesterday centered around recruiting, but two other off-field developments may have helped give some shape to the still-nebulous 2012 version of the Big 12.

The Big 12 office released its full 2012 football schedule yesterday...although we, the public, don't get to see it just yet. The league met it's February 1st deadline to send the schedule to their TV partners, and did so with a full slate that includes new members TCU and West Virginia. So what's the hold up, you ask? That would be the legal dispute between WVU and the Big East that's currently playing out in court rooms in two different states. We still don't know if the Mountaineers will be officially joining the conference for next season, so until that is decided the schedule can't be set in stone and released to the public.

On that front, though, was court decision that some of you law dogs may need to help the rest of us fully understand. Judge Russell Clawges of Monongalia County, West Virginia, refused to stay a lawsuit filed by WVU against the Big East that would've held up proceedings until the conference's own countersuit against WVU was heard in a Rhode Island court. What this means, if I've learned anything from the courtroom scenes on Law & Order and The Wire, is that the issue of whether or not the Mountaineers will be a part of the Big 12 in 2012 will be resolved sooner than we had at one time thought because the West Virginia court is willing to act a lot quicker than the one in Rhode Island.

And even while the league isn't totally certain exactly what it will look like next fall, they continue to keep their eye on possible further expansion in the future. As Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports explains, the total number of eventual member schools is still up in the air. Interim commissioner Chuck Neinas would prefer to stay at ten, but his time at the wheel will be over soon. If the next person in charge wants to expand beyond ten, Louisville seems like the natural next target- with schools like BYU and Cincinnati also possibly being considered.


J. Thaddeus Toad said...

The Big East law suit shouldn't be a matter of whether or not WV will remain in the Big East/join the Big 12 in 2012. There is no legal basis for specific performance in this case. Rather, what the lawsuit will likely determine is the amount of damages WV will have to pay. (I thought this would be settled out of court) Also, it is interesting because I believe the Big East has already accepted a portion of WV's exit fee- this strikes me as implied consent.
I'd be interested to hear other attys opinions.

65frog said...

I agree with your analysis. The only issue is the amount of damages. West Virginia cannot be forced to remain in the Big East. Over 80% of the cases alleging reach of contract are settled without trial. This case appears to be a very good candidate for settlement.

Tanner said...

you breach you pay, thats what they told us in school. no way specific performance is even an option in something like this, and if they're arguing that, its just to pump up billables.