Selected sections of the filed complaint

Selected quotes from the complaint filed against Miami, Boston College and the ACC

"5. This case does not involve any single school simply seeking a different direction or vision; rather, this case involves a deliberate scheme initiated by Defendants to destroy the Big East and abscond with the collective value of all that has been invested and created in the Big East.


6. Pursuant to their membership in the Big East, each of the Defecting School Defendants has entered into a series of contracts and voluntarily assumed fiduciary obligations to the other members of the Big East. In addition to these obligations, Defendant Miami in particular, during a period of time when it suited its interests to do so, has made repeated public and private statements and commitments to the other members of the Big East that it intended to remain a member of the Big East and that it had no intention of leaving to join any other conference. It did so with the knowledge and intent that these statements would be, and were in fact, relied on by the remaining members of the Big East in making enormous investments that would benefit Miami.


7. Based on Miami's unequivocal, repeated and explicit commitments, Plaintiffs poured tens of millions of dollars into improving their on campus facilities, entering into long-term leases with stadiums, foregoing other potential revenue streams, and making other investments in the future of their athletic programs. It is now clear that the Defecting School Defendants' promises were not true and that they were simply readying themselves for the day that they could walk away with the value they were encouraging others to develop as "partners" and sell it to the ACC.

8. Recent events have revealed that, in derogation of their contractual and fiduciary obligations and in contravention of these repeated statements and commitments, each of the Defecting School Defendants has been engaged in secret negotiations to leave the Big East to join the ACC. If Defendants' scheme is permitted to succeed, Plaintiffs stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues, as well as the value of tens of millions of additional dollars spent to improve the facilities and teams in the conference, and largely incalculable losses in, among other things, the quality of student life, alumni and other major donor support and community relations.

9. As troubling as the reasons underlying the Defecting School Defendants' course of conduct, which is based on their desire to make more money irrespective of the cost to their partners, is the subterranean manner in which the
Defecting School Defendants have carried out this scheme."

 

 


"29. Four of the Plaintiff schools – Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Rutgers – as well as Syracuse and the two Defecting School Defendants have played football in the Football Conference since its inception. These four Plaintiff schools have a long and rich tradition in college football that substantially pre-dates the formation of the Football Conference. Rutgers, in fact, has the longest tradition of any  team in college football, having participated in what is considered the first college football game ever played, against Princeton in 1869. Five members of the College Football Hall of Fame played or coached at Rutgers.


30. Pittsburgh also has played college football for over 100 years. During this time, it was voted the National Champion in nine different years, including the undefeated national championship team of 1976, led by Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett, shortly before Pittsburgh joined the Big East. Twelve members of the College Football Hall of Fame played or coached at Pittsburgh.


31. West Virginia also has a long and rich tradition in college football that has been a source of state-wide pride and economic development in West Virginia. Despite West Virginia's relatively small population, it has sustained a high level of performance across generations from the great teams led by Sam Huff in the 1950's to the 1988 and 1993 teams that played for the national championship. Four members of the College Football Hall of Fame played at West Virginia.


32. Virginia Tech also has a long and proud history in college football, having played since 1892, and having many great teams and great players prior to joining the Football Conference. Five members of the College Football Hall of Fame played or coached at Virginia Tech. As set forth below, Virginia Tech has also made substantial investments in football since joining the Football Conference and these investments have been extremely beneficial to the entire conference, including the Defecting School
Defendants.


33. Plaintiff Connecticut has been a member of the Big East since 1979, and is scheduled to begin playing in the Football Conference, as its eighth member, in 2005. Connecticut is the state university, and in conjunction with the state government, and as set forth more fully below, Plaintiff Connecticut has invested more than $100 million in connection with Plaintiff Connecticut's decision to join the Football Conference."

 


"41. The success and growth of the Big East have stemmed from a shared vision and collaborative effort among its members, including Plaintiffs and the Defecting School Defendants. This common effort has included a profound willingness to stick with their partners in this conference in even the darkest of times. Two examples of the loyalty and cooperation among Big East Conference members are particularly compelling. Both occurred in the mid-1990's, when BC and Miami faced separate crises   that threatened their continued viability as participants in college athletics.


42. For example, in 1997 a criminal investigation was commenced into alleged gambling by BC athletes, including football players. This scandal had the potential to effectively end BC's ability to continue to participate in college athletics because BC had already faced a gambling scandal in its basketball program in the 1980's. Similarly, in the mid-1990's Miami was placed on probation by the NCAA for various NCAA violations. As part of this probation, the NCAA reduced the number of football scholarships Miami could award and imposed various other sanctions. Furthermore, notwithstanding its on-field success, a leading national sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, asserted that Miami's program had become so far removed from the beneficial objectives of college athletics that it urged Miami to drop its football program.


43. Nevertheless, during this time the Big East and every member thereof stood behind these schools. Miami and BC continued to receive in full their respective financial and other entitlements as members of both the Big East and the Football Conference. With this support, Miami and BC were able to weather these crises, to the point where for example, in the last two years, Miami has ascended to the top of Division 1-A football and has played as the Big East representative in two straight BCS national championship games."

 


"48. Dee reported to Plaintiffs, among others, at a May 23, 1999 Big East Football Annual Meeting that "Miami has never been contacted by the ACC itself; Miami has never contacted the ACC; There is no timeline because Miami has never been
approached by the ACC."


49. In fact, it appears that in 1999 Miami met with, among others, David Braine, the Athletic Director of Georgia Tech, and Dave Hart, Jr., the Athletic Director of Florida State. For reasons explained below, Plaintiffs and the other members of the Big East did not take any action in response to Miami's discussions with the ACC at that time and instead relied on the word of Miami concerning the nature and extent of their discussions with the ACC. Miami was, however, engaged in protracted discussions with the ACC at that time and did not disclose the nature or extent of those conversations to Plaintiffs or the Big East. Those discussions were not limited to the respective athletic departments of the various schools, but rather extended all the way up to the Presidents of
the various involved ACC schools and Miami."

 

"84. Miami and BC knew that Miami had not been extended an offer to join the ACC in 1999 and knew that there was considerable resistance within the ACC to adding Miami.

85. Miami, BC and Florida State also knew that the ACC was only willing to consider expansion, if at all, if it could add three teams, in part to enable a playoff football game.

86. Miami, BC and Florida State therefore knew that they could succeed in their scheme only if they could induce or pressure a third school to leave the Big East. As noted in the minutes of the May 19, 2003 Big East meeting minutes, Paul Dee, Miami's Athletic Director, stated at the Big East meetings in May 2003: "we (Miami) cannot go if BC and Syracuse do not go."

87. Miami, BC and Florida State also knew that inducing a third school to leave the Big East could cripple the Football Conference, leaving it with only five schools, one of which, Connecticut, was in a embryonic stage, and that this proposal would be more attractive to the ACC precisely because of the prospect that it would eviscerate the Football Conference, eliminate it as a viable competitor in the eastern United States, and increase the possibility that the ACC could reap a larger share of the benefits of the BCS venture.

88. Pursuant to this plan, one or more of the Defendants approached Syracuse to be the third team in Defendants' scheme.

89. Syracuse was a founding member of the Big East in 1979. However, Syracuse was persuaded to conclude that if Miami left the Big East this would cause Syracuse to have to protects its own interests.

90. Syracuse has thus advised Plaintiffs that it feels that it has no choice but to join the ACC, even as its national championship winning men's basketball coach, Jim Boeheim, described the move as 'insane.'

91. Defendants' scheme is not being fueled by efficiency or cost savings. BC, for example, has already indicated that it will have to evaluate whether to reduce several men's and women's 'non-revenue' sports if BC moves to the ACC.

92. Defendants' scheme has been undertaken with the full knowledge and intent that this scheme will inflict devastating harm on Plaintiffs."

 

"100. The Defecting School Defendants have also breached their fiduciary duties to Plaintiffs by engaging in a conspiracy to bring about defection of almost one half of the football playing schools in the Big East conference for the benefit of themselves and the ACC, a Big East competitor.

101. One of the key reasons why the Defecting School Defendants were able to engage in their secret scheme with the ACC is that they have access to sensitive and confidential financial information from the Big East and its member schools, and from other positions such as with respect to the BCS, in which they were charged with receiving information on behalf of and for the benefit of the Big East and its members, information that was misused by the Defecting School Defendants and because they had
the trust and confidence of their partners."

 

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