Two days ago I posted about West Virginia University’s (WVU) lawsuit against the Big East to allow them to leave the conference before the mandatory 27 month waiting period that is imposed among Big East teams. The Big East has fired back, suing WVU to force them to comply with Big East rules. This case will be quite interesting, as the Big East allowed TCU to go ahead and leave, and has not gave any hint they will enforce the 27 month rule with that school, as they had never officially played any games in Big East football. It does present a challenge to Syracuse and Pitt who have announced they will be leaving the Big East to go to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), as the Big East says they fully expect to enforce the rules for everyone.
What does this mean? It could mean at least 2 more years before these schools are allowed to become members of other conferences, which may confuse the national conference realignment picture even more. If these schools do leave, the Big East will be left with only 5 member institutions which play football, meaning they will need to bring in many football members fast, or face more schools leaving. Really, the Big East looks to be falling apart, and this lawsuit seems like the conference trying to grasp for anything they can to stay alive just a little bit longer and give themselves some hope.
Of course, this could end up costing schools like WVU, Syracuse and Pitt, as interest in the conference, and thus revenues will probably be on the decline.