West Virginia settles Big East lawsuit, will join Big 12 in July

West Virginia University will pay the Big East a reported $20 million to leave for the Big 12.
BY VICKI SMITH and RALPH RUSSO, The Associated Press Published: February 14, 2012
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Luck said the Big 12 gives WVU “significant advantages” over the Big East.

“The Big 12 is a strong and vibrant conference academically and athletically,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to the potential academic and athletic partnerships and financial opportunities that membership in the Big 12 offers.”

WVU President James Clements called the partnership with the Big 12 “an investment in WVU's future.”

While the legal fight played out, the Big 12 was put in limbo, unable to release a football schedule for next season. Now the WVU's membership for 2012 is secured, that schedule should be out soon.

The Big East still has work to do to figure out how next season will play out. Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced in September they are leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference, but have said they will not challenge the Big East's notification rules.

Six schools over the last two and a half months have signed up to join the Big East in 2013.

That leaves the Big East with seven football teams for 2012 and a hole in the schedule that could leave its remaining members scrambling to find a game so late — unless one of its future members can be convinced to join a year early.

Boise State, which is joining the Big East in football only, has been approached about leaving the Mountain West early.

——— Associated Press Writer Ralph Russo contributed to this report from New York.



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