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John Marinatto expresses disappointment in WVU’s lawsuit

John Marinatto AP

You know the story by now. West Virginia joined the Big 12 last Friday, and in a teleconference with interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas, expressed confidence that they would be in their new conference by July 1 of next year; the Big East has stated there’s not a chance in hell, and that WVU will abide by the 27-month notification period written in the conference bylaws and they’ll do it with a smile, thank you. The result, of course, was the lawsuit by WVU against the Big East today.

The suit essentially accused the Big East of being unable to keep the football portion of the conference at a BCS-caliber level (keep in mind that doesn’t mean BCS wins or losses). Citing the departures of Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC and TCU to the Big 12, WVU claimed it had no choice but to leave because the Big East was the one not upholding their end of the BCS deal and was putting the school in an unforeseen circumstance.

(If you haven’t seen it, you can read the full version of the suit HERE)

As you would expect, Big East commissioner John Marinatto has responded to the suit, which you can read below:

‘We are disappointed that West Virginia has adopted this strategy and cannot imagine why it believes it does not have to respect and honor the bylaws it agreed to as a member of the Big East.  Based on an initial review of the lawsuit, it is clear that the allegations and claims in it are false and inaccurate. Certainly there is nothing in it that would justify WVU’s not fulfilling its obligations. To put it simply, a contract is a contract.

“Once we have reviewed the filing, we will explore all our legal options and will act vigorously to ensure that WVU lives up to all its obligations to our conference. In the meantime, this lawsuit will not interfere in any way with our ongoing efforts to strengthen and expand the Big East.”

 

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22 Responses to “John Marinatto expresses disappointment in WVU’s lawsuit”
  1. pabstman says: Oct 31, 2011 8:26 PM

    Why is he “disappointed” we’re simply asking for the same treatment that was awarded to TCU. TCU paid it’s 5 million and walked away. I believe that’s called, setting precedence Mr. Marinatto.

  2. vegasrobert says: Oct 31, 2011 8:31 PM

    this commish must be delusional or full of shat… one or the other.. i just read his statement twice.. can’t tell if he is psycho and believes it or just gets off on calling bs he knows is hogwash

  3. deadeye says: Oct 31, 2011 8:36 PM

    What is the Big East going to do if Syracuse and Pitt file similar lawsuits?

    It might damage the Big East in the long run to have lawsuits in play whenever a university wants to withdraw and pursue other options. That will make prospective replacement universities think twice before joining the BE.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Oct 31, 2011 8:43 PM

    The BE is “disappointing.”. Get over it commish. Your league is falling apart. Perhaps a NEW commissioner is in order and set up a division II league.

  5. Ben Kercheval says: Oct 31, 2011 8:49 PM

    deadeye,

    I may be wrong, but I don’t see Syracuse and Pitt filing similar suits. WVU is blaming the conference dissolve on Marinatto and the BE. That’s obviously because of Pitt, Cuse and TCU departing. Pitt and Cuse left for a better, more secure deal with no timeline to join for TV purposes. Now, that’s not to say they won’t try to get out earlier, but I don’t foresee it being a suit like this.

    Hope this helps.

  6. wtank92 says: Oct 31, 2011 9:06 PM

    PFT: One of you tags or quick links reads “CFT: WVU’s lawsuit disappoints Big 12 commish”. Should be Big East commish, not Big 12. JFYI.

  7. Ben Kercheval says: Oct 31, 2011 9:16 PM

    I’ll let ‘em know. thanks!

  8. jimwinfield says: Oct 31, 2011 9:18 PM

    I say sue the pants off of WVU. They may be upset at first but we are really doing them a favor. The university seems to think they should be entitled to some sort of special treatment. They don’t. Marinatto deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for keeping whats left of the football and non-football schools together this long.
    The Big 12 probably wont except WVU if its a 27 month wait.
    By that point, The Big East will have reloaded and WVU should want to lucky enough to get first and second tier money of the upcoming contracts.
    For those of you who don’t follow such things, the proposed 12-14 team football conference is gaining a lot of interest from newly formed Comcast/NBC/Versus network. The Big East is going to get paid.
    With or with out WVU.
    As a mountaineer fan I say stick with the evil you know. Big 12 will fall apart. Texas and Oklahoma will split and then the conference will just be a bunch of teams that once considering the Big East.

  9. jimwinfield says: Oct 31, 2011 9:36 PM

    For those who care about the TV deal forth coming
    http://wapo.st/tTSkB1
    This Washington post article clearly points out how the Big East will be compensated. Expect a big lawsuit against ESPN aswell.

  10. vgiord1227 says: Oct 31, 2011 9:43 PM

    TCU was not a member of the BE. So it was held to a different standard. Its common in contracts. I think WVU and the Big 12 might be screwed. Which gives me a little sense of satisfaction since the BE is always on the short end!

  11. dmcgrann says: Oct 31, 2011 10:21 PM

    Oh, shucks. Let common sense prevail.

    Back when I managed a bunch of folks at a large company, if someone who you knew wasn’t happy with the company gave two weeks notice, you’d say, “Thanks for the notice. We’ll pay you for your two weeks, but make today your last day. Maybe you can start early at your new job and double-dip!”

    You know you don’t want them hanging around for two weeks telling everyone else what a great place their new company was or saying what jackasses their about-to-be-former bosses are.

    The BE needs to set a price and let WVU pay it. While they’re at it, fix it for SU and Pitt, too. I imagine that the BE “basketball schools” would love for the BE to revert to what it should be – a basketball conference.

    Then, the BE can add basketball schools out the old wazoo. The A-10 should be nervous.

  12. digit960 says: Oct 31, 2011 10:28 PM

    TCU’s contract agreement was totally different. They weren’t completely a full member of the conference yet which is why they weren’t upheld to the waiting period

  13. drummerhoff says: Oct 31, 2011 10:37 PM

    Beebe screwed-up the Big 12 by being Texas’ bitch and Marinatto screwed-up the Big East by being Notre Dame’s bitch.

    Beebe lost his job because of it and now Marinatto is being called out.

    Good for WVU.

  14. frug says: Oct 31, 2011 10:53 PM

    Back when I managed a bunch of folks at a large company, if someone who you knew wasn’t happy with the company gave two weeks notice, you’d say, “Thanks for the notice. We’ll pay you for your two weeks, but make today your last day. Maybe you can start early at your new job and double-dip!”

    What would have happened had said employee been leaving to take a job at a competing company after having signed a non-compete agreement?

    That’s what the 27-month waiting period is, college sports answer to a NCA.

  15. jimwinfield says: Nov 1, 2011 12:05 AM

    Tomorrow will go a long way to settling this. WVU may have spooked a couple of teams, if not the accusations in the PDF are baseless.

  16. elm0helmet says: Nov 1, 2011 12:18 AM

    The Big East will act vigorously to ensure that WVU lives up to all its obligations.

    Now that’s rich. I’d say acting as the only consistent performer and providing the conference with it’s only 2 respectable BcS wins since 2004 is living up to its obligations, Mr. Marinara.

    Holding any of these teams to a 27 month wait period simply makes a bad situation that much worse.

  17. ms72lbc says: Nov 1, 2011 12:32 AM

    BE is irrelevant as a football conference and their commish is a fool. He let this happen. Goodbye BE for football and try to find a basketball commish. You were always known for basketball but will never be known for football!

  18. norcalirish says: Nov 1, 2011 7:36 AM

    A contract is a contract. If you don’t like it, don’t sign it.

  19. helenh777 says: Nov 1, 2011 10:08 AM

    When that contract was signed the BE had Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, West Virginia, Syracuse, & Pittsburg. They were all considered good teams if not great. They are now nothing. Only the commissioner can take the blame for that. He moves like a snail. Get over your disappointment. You should be disappointed with yourself.

  20. pastabelly says: Nov 1, 2011 10:36 AM

    helenh777 says:
    Nov 1, 2011 10:08 AM
    When that contract was signed the BE had Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, West Virginia, Syracuse, & Pittsburg. They were all considered good teams if not great. They are now nothing. Only the commissioner can take the blame for that. He moves like a snail. Get over your disappointment. You should be disappointed with yourself.
    ==================================
    That contract was signed AFTER Miami, VT, and BC left. It was in the wake of BC leaving that the remaining schools got together to come up with a plan (other than suing BC) to keep the conference together. All of the hypocritical universities couldn’t believe that BC, after initially being denied admission to the ACC, pledged its loyalty to the BE and then bolted a year later. Fast forward six years later and Pittsburgh and Syracuse bolt. Then WVU leaves and UConn has been trying to get into the ACC and are surprised that BC is trying to block them. The pledge and the deal that the BE schools signed was a joke because NONE of them would ever have refused admission to the ACC or any other stronger conference at any point in time. At the time, signing the deal made them all feel good about suing Boston College and gave them a false sense of security. None of the Big East schools should ever have trusted each other. It is a sports division (not a conference) built on convenience and money and not much more.

    As much as you try to blame the commissioner, none of this is his fault. It’s the fault of the basketball only schools for exerting their will on the football schools and the football schools for signing a deal that none of them liked. All of them even voted to increase the penalty for leaving, while at the same time trying to leave.

    I will say this about Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Both of them know that the BE counted on them and they were among the hypocrits. But at least they are willing to live with the deal they signed.

  21. latrobe21 says: Nov 1, 2011 1:44 PM

    As a native of the Pittsburgh area, I don’t appreciate the uneducated trollers that can’t spell “Pittsburgh” (usually leave off the “h”). It’s a major city with many claims to fame. Surely, some of you can’t be as stupid as you appear.

  22. mikey1977 says: Nov 1, 2011 5:23 PM

    A contract is a contract West Virginia…you can’t just shred it just because you’re jumping ship.

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