Big East takes ACC expansion to court

Apparently, what is left of the Big East will not go quietly. Pittsburgh, Connecticut, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Rutgers filed suit against Boston College, Miami and the Atlantic Coast Conference for financial damages and to keep BC and Miami from joining the ACC.

The 5 Big East schools charged Boston College and Miami with planning "to destroy the Big East and abscond with the collective value of all that has been invested and created in the Big East."

The lawsuit addresses the certain financial losses the remaining Big East schools would incur with the loss of Boston College and Miami to the ACC.

The 5 presidents of the plaintiff schools stated, "Our universities have brought this lawsuit with great regret and only as a last resort."

Whether this desperate act will succeed in saving the Big East remains to be seen. However, the financial stake of maintaining the Big East in its current form, with BC and Miami, is clear. Especially during these difficult economic times with funding at a premium, the universities left in the Big East Conference cannot afford to lose the money generated by TV contracts and bowl games that would surely follow Miami to the ACC. Boston College and Syracuse, recent winners of the NCAA men's basketball championship, following Miami would also exact a toll.

Syracuse was left out of the lawsuit because, the plaintiffs claim, this school did not promise to stay in the Big East. In contrast, Miami president Donna Shalala was quoted as saying "that the University of Miami is in the Big East and has no interest in leaving it for any other conference" on March 6th, 2002.

The crux of the lawsuit is that schools in the Big East took on costly projects, such as stadium construction, under the assurance that Miami and Boston College would remain in the conference.


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