Last week the Big 12 gave an official invitation to West Virginia University (WVU) to become a member of the conference. Things were confused as Louisville and WVU seemed to have both been competing for the spot, but it was WVU which was ultimately extended the invitation. Things have become more complicated as the Big East tried to block WVU from leaving immediately for the 2012 season. WVU has countered now by filing a lawsuit against the Big East. This lawsuit is to let them out before the 27 month waiting period which schools in the Big East are suppose to go through before they are allowed to be released. The lawsuit (full version here) states that WVU should be allowed to leave because:
“the denigration of the Big East football conference is a direct and proximate result of lack of leadership and breach of fiduciary duties to the football schools by the Big East and its commissioner.”
They pretty much say the Big East is falling apart, and thus we should be allowed to go do as we wish. The lawsuit does also note that Texas Christian University (TCU) were allowed to leave the Big East for the Big 12 without being held to the 27 month rule, and that other schools have also been trying to leave the conference as well. Of course there are major financial implications here, but things got a little interesting today when former WVU head football coach Rich Rodriguez decided to speak up about this issue.
For those of you not familiar with Rich Rodriguez (RichRod to some), he left WVU to go coach at Michigan in 2007, and was forced by WVU to buyout the rest of his contract with the school. NBC CollegeFootball Talk posted this post (with video) of Rodriguez talking about how WVU had told him that “a contract is a contract” and expected him to pay for leaving early. Some have pointed out that there is a bit of irony in the situation now that WVU wants to leave without having to pay anything, though I’d be quick to point out that the Big East has pretty much fallen apart, and allowed others out. RichRod, this is an entirely different situation than your contract issues with WVU was in my opinion.
All of that said, it is curious to see how this will all end up. Conference Realignment seasons gets interesting with each passing day. The big question around these parts (the Midwest) is when/if Missouri will leave the Big 12 for the SEC.