For West Virginia, which plans — perhaps on a whim — to join the Big 12 by July 1, 2012, time is of the essence when it comes to the dueling lawsuits between the institution and the Big East conference.
The better part of the last month has been a back and forth battle between the two. Toward the end of November, WVU filed a motion to dismiss the Big East’s breach of contract lawsuit against the school. The Big East’s litigation, which was in response to WVU’s lawsuit against the conference, was planned for court in Providence, Rhode Island. Naturally, WVU wants its lawsuit, located in the Circuit Court of Monongalia County, to be the only one fought.
WVU responded to the Big East’s motion to dismiss on Dec. 9; the conference filed that motion just a few days before. Today, a hearing was held on WVU”s motion to dismiss the Big East’s lawsuit. Following the hearing, Providence County Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein said he would prefer to make a ruling on WVU’s motion sometime next week.
Monongalia County Circuit Court Judge Russell Clawges has scheduled a hearing on the Big East’s motion on Dec. 19 in Morgantown.
A ruling on either motion would give WVU six months to figure out how they’ll get out of the 27-month waiting period for leaving the conference as stated by the bylaws. A trial is tentatively set for June 25 of next year; personally, I doubt it gets to that point.
The school asserted in its motion against the Big East that the conference is making “an entirely unwarranted attempt to sidestep the jurisdiction of the West Virginia Circuit Court, which is the appropriate Court to hear the matter” and that the Rhode Island court lacks jurisdiction over WVU.