The Empire Strikes Back

Rutgers along with UConn, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Virginia Tech brought suit today against the ACC, The University of Miami and Boston College in a multi count complaint ... The Syracuse Orangemen were not named as defendants in the suit.

The Empire Strikes Back

A few notes before we get to the articles:

    Syracuse wasn't sued. That doesn't mean that they can't yet be sued, it just means that they weren't sued. Putting the legal stuff to the side, I have the suspicion that there is something behind this omission other than just lawyering. Perhaps the reasoning is, "Miami is a southern school, they are going to go anyway, so what can we do? Boston College has made so many enemies in the Big East over the way that they have handled this that we don't want them back anyway. However, if we can bring Syracuse back into the fold, there is enough talent left in the league to rebuild."

I don't have any inside info to prove that the above was the motivation for not naming Syracuse as a defendant, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.

 UM is a southern school who would eventually leave anyway. If it doesn't happen this year, it eventually will.

People I have talked to are absolutely furious at the way Boston College and its fans have handled this. The Eagles have burned their bridges behind them. If the ACC deal doesn't work out, my guess is that BC would be asked to leave the Big East by the remaining schools. Many Big East fans would say, "good riddance."

During this time only Syracuse has behaved like a school truly torn by the decision. The five remaining schools plus Syracuse are enough of a foundation to build on. I wouldn't be surprised if the omission of Syracuse from the complaint was based on more than considerations of evidentiary support for the allegations in the pleadings. There could be a strategic move in all of this to salvage the Orangemen and rebuild the conference without Miami and without BC.

 

Now the articles:

Plaintiffs University of Connecticut ("Connecticut"), University of Pittsburgh of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education ("Pittsburgh"), Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey ("Rutgers"), Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University ("Virginia Tech"), and West Virginia University ("West Virginia") (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), by their undersigned counsel, hereby file this Complaint for Monetary Damages and Injunctive Relief against the above-named Defendants. Plaintiffs allege upon knowledge with respect to themselves and their own acts, and upon information and belief with respect to all other matters, as follows:
Complaint

 

The press release issued by the schools is as follows:

Today five football playing schools of the Big East Conference filed suit in Connecticut State Court to protect the Big East from the irreparable harm caused by the self-serving, secret dealings of the University of Miami, Boston College and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Big East universities filed their suit as a last resort to protect the academic and athletic programs placed in profound jeopardy because Miami, B.C. and the ACC have put their own economic self-interest before the broader public interests served by the Big East universities. The suit asserts that Miami and Boston College, secretly and in collusion with the ACC and its member schools, violated their legal obligations and fiduciary duties to their partners, the universities of the Big East. Moreover, the suit alleges that Miami and B.C. – while repeatedly reassuring the public that they were firmly committed to the Big East – were at the very same time actively and secretly planning their defection to the ACC. The suit seeks hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and to prevent Miami and Boston College from defecting to the ACC.
Press Release

Five Big East schools sued Friday to try to prevent Miami and Boston College from jumping to the Atlantic Coast Conference, accusing them of secretly taking part in an expansion plan that could ruin the Big East.

The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Hartford, Conn., says Miami and Boston College professed loyalty to their conference while concocting a "deliberate scheme to destroy the Big East and abscond with the collective value of all that has been invested and created in the Big East."

Big East schools went ahead with expensive renovations and upgrades under the assumption they would be part of a healthy conference for years to come, the lawsuit contends.
SportingNews.com - College Football : Big East sues to prevent ACC expansion

 

THE LAWSUIT, FILED in state Superior Court in Hartford, Conn., says Miami and Boston College professed loyalty to their conference while concocting a "deliberate scheme to destroy the Big East and abscond with the collective value of all that has been invested and created in the Big East."
       Big East schools went ahead with expensive renovations and upgrades under the assumption they would be part of a healthy conference for years to come, the lawsuit contends.
       The Big East could lose millions of dollars in revenue from the lucrative Bowl Championship Series and from TV deals, the lawsuit says. The nine-team ACC has promised football power Miami increased revenue from a more lucrative TV deal it believes it could negotiate as a 12-team conference.
5 schools sue to stop ACC expansion

 

"This lawsuit reveals a backroom conspiracy, born in secret, founded on greed, and carried out through calculated deceit. The story is a sad chapter in the history of college sports - a shameful example for students and athletes as well as academic institutions across the country," said Attorney General Blumenthal. "Our legal action seeks to stop ongoing fraud and other illegal misconduct and recover millions of dollars that may be lost as a result of repeated false and misleading statements - reassurances that these schools were committed to the Big East, while they were secretly negotiating to defect and break their agreements. Their assurances and promises were explicit and unequivocal, made with clear knowledge that we would rely on them. The ACC must be held accountable as well for secretly approaching the defecting schools and inducing them to break their contracts."
Connecticut Attorney General's Office Home Page

 

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the state has "absolutely rock solid evidence" to support claims that there was a conspiracy to make misleading statements.
"Fraud is not to strong a word to describe what has happened here," he said. "This lawsuit reveals a back-room conspiracy, born in secret, founded on greed, and carried out through calculated deceit. "It is a sad chapter in the history of college athletics - it's a reprehensible shameful example for athletes and students as well as academic institutions across the country."
ctnow.com | Big East Sues To Prevent ACC Expansion

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