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It’s official: West Virginia to join the Big 12 in 2012

Oliver Luck AP

Finally, our long national nightmare is over.

After much talk and numerous legal maneuvers on both sides, both West Virginia and the Big East announced in separate press releases that a settlement agreement has been reached in the civil litigation, clearing the way for WVU to move to the Big 12 in 2012.  In its statement, the Big East wrote that its “Board of Directors has voted to terminate West Virginia University’s membership in the Conference, effective June 30, 2012.”

The move comes three and a half months after WVU officially confirmed Oct. 28 it was leaving the Big East for the Big 12.

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

While the Big East would only confirm that “the payment of an exit fee well in excess of that required by the Bylaws” was part of the settlement, the conference shift will prove exact a heavy financial toll on WVU and its new conference.

As previously reported, the early move to the Big 12 will cost a total of $20 million, with WVU covering half of that figure and the Big 12 covering the other half.  WVU will reportedly repay its new conference $5 million of that $10 million, with that repayment consisting of a portion of the school’s broadcast revenues being withheld annually over a period of time.

“We are in great company in the Big 12, joining a group of world-class research universities – many of them large public land-grant flagship institutions like WVU,” WVU president Jim Clements said in his statement.  “These schools have quality academics, research, athletic programs, winning traditions and loyal, passionate fans.”

“Our partnership with the Big 12 is an investment in WVU’s future. We’re looking forward to the tremendous opportunities it presents – all across our university.”

West Virginia was one of three schools to announce last year it was leaving the Big East in the future, and there was a development regarding those other two institutions as well this morning.

According to Brett McMurphy of, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will attempt to negotiate deals that would permit the two schools to leave the Big East for the ACC in 2013.  Big East bylaws technically prevent the two schools from leaving until 2014, but WVU has shown that waiting period is negotiable.

The two schools are hopeful that they can each pay an exit fee that’s half of what it took WVU to leave early.

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23 Responses to “It’s official: West Virginia to join the Big 12 in 2012”
  1. fitz66 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:20 AM

    “Board of Directors has voted to terminate West Virginia University’s membership in the Conference, effective June 30, 2012.”

    He didn’t dump me, I DUMPED HIM!!!

  2. wvuandsteelers says: Feb 14, 2012 10:30 AM

    While I will miss some of our old rivalries (Pitt especially), I am pumped about this. Now I can’t wait to kick Texas’ ass!!!

  3. latrobe21 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:43 AM

    John Taylor says:

    Finally, our long national nightmare is over.

    Not true, john – the Big Least still exists.

  4. ancientcougar says: Feb 14, 2012 10:44 AM

    Whose Ass? Did you see the Horn’s Recruitment Class? Get ready to bend over…..and you won’t be kissed first.

  5. John Taylor says: Feb 14, 2012 10:47 AM

    “Not true, john – the Big Least still exists.”

    Point taken, sir. :-)

  6. latrobe21 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:49 AM

    John Taylor says:

    Finally, our long national nightmare is over.

    Not true, John – the Big Least still exists.

  7. ofbcaas says: Feb 14, 2012 11:16 AM

    Big XII conf schedule

  8. helenh777 says: Feb 14, 2012 11:22 AM

    I am very grateful this is over.

  9. centexhorn says: Feb 14, 2012 11:25 AM

    WVU, you gotta come to Austin, baby. Prepare for domination!

    Same goes for TCU.

    (Kinda cool that they get to play each other, too.)

  10. woebegong says: Feb 14, 2012 11:41 AM

    A steep price at 20 million, but in the long run, better to ride with a winner, than die with a loser, and the big east is a loser.

  11. sssjim7 says: Feb 14, 2012 12:03 PM

    Hrm… I see they left off the non-conference schedule… wonder why WVU had to drop FSU?

    No matter… I agree it’s nice that it is over…


  12. deadeye says: Feb 14, 2012 12:30 PM

    The Big East has egg on it’s face over this. They were insisting that WVU wait three years to join the BIG12.

    Now it looks like Syracuse and Pittsburgh can join the ACC whenever they choose to do so. The Big East is dying, and this capitulation to WVU is the greatest proof of it.

  13. thraiderskin says: Feb 14, 2012 12:35 PM

    I guess no border war within the cofference for these guys.

  14. woebegong says: Feb 14, 2012 12:37 PM

    The big least had better hope they eliminate the BCS bowl to determine the national championship and go to a play off system. If they keep their present system as it is, the Big Least will not be able to keep it’s AQ status with the teams they have in it now. They pretty much sold their soul for 20 million, which will probably equal the whole conferences revenue in the future at best for a year. Maybe they can merge with the ACC and have a super conference then.

  15. thefiesty1 says: Feb 14, 2012 1:18 PM

    ’bout time. Just how much of the buyout goes to the idiot lawyers? What a waste of money. Glad that’s over.

  16. mrslay1 says: Feb 14, 2012 1:37 PM

    The sad part of this is that the little12 may have better football teams now, but they are less stable that the big Least. They were almost over the last 2 years and as long as the tea sippers are in charge several teams may go somewhere else any time.

  17. phillyb6 says: Feb 14, 2012 1:43 PM

    Texas hasn’t been “Texas” since Colt McCoy and Co. left… Over the same time period, a Geno Smith led WVU has probably (arguably) been better. It won’t be long before Texas rounds back into form (read: gets a QB), and WVU will probably find it rough sledding in Austin when that happens. In next year’s game, however, I don’t think anyone’s going to kick anyone’s ass.

  18. mhalt99 says: Feb 14, 2012 2:57 PM

    Whose Ass? Did you see the Horn’s Recruitment Class? Get ready to bend over…..and you won’t be kissed first.

    Really? Is that how it is in Texas? I didn’t know you guys rolled like that….isn’t that more of a Big 10 thing??????

  19. guinsrule says: Feb 14, 2012 3:09 PM

    The problem for WVU is long term recruiting. The move will take them out of their tradtional recruiting areas. It will interesting to see if they can get kids from the Big 12 areas to travel that far from home to come WVU.

  20. rollteal says: Feb 14, 2012 4:38 PM

    This well be an interesting fit to see. And yes Cuse and Pitt should be ACC bound by 2013 after this.

  21. florida727 says: Feb 14, 2012 5:34 PM

    NOTE TO ANY TEAM CONSIDERING JOINING THE BIG EAST: get in writing that should you choose to withdraw from the conference because of their inability to secure a BCS bowl game going forward, THEY must pay YOU $20 million in lost revenues and emotional duress incurred.

  22. mrslay1 says: Feb 14, 2012 5:43 PM

    Well put…I thought that was b1g’s way to. Of coarse I lived in Texas for a while and heard those longhorns talk about something they, sooners and pokie state call stump breaking. Never saw it myself but they said they loved it:-)

  23. southyank7 says: Feb 14, 2012 10:15 PM

    #WVU didn’t start this mess
    #EatSH**PITT #Syracuse #ACC did
    every man woman & child for themselves
    WVU secured themselves a REAL FOOTBALL conf #Big12 while big least stays a basketball 1st conf & above mentioned cuse & pitt go 2 another basketball 1st conf where they will get beat down on weekly basis by OLD rivals VaTech, Miami, BC, & add Florida State, Clemson etc..good luck with that LMAO

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