Big East Sues West Virginia

Things are taking a very ugly turn in the world of realignment.

The Big East Conference on Friday filed suit against West Virginia University in Superior Court for the State of Rhode Island, Providence County. In a media release, the Big East said, "This breach of contract lawsuit seeks an order requiring West Virginia to comply with the Big East Bylaws, as well as damages resulting from West Virginia's improper attempted withdrawal in violation of those Bylaws."

The Big East lawsuit comes in response to West Virginia's action earlier this week, a lawsuit filed by the university against the Big East, seeking to invalidate the conference's exit requirements so that the Mountaineers could be free to join the Big 12 Conference next season.

The Big East currently requires a $5 million exit fee and a 27-month waiting period to leave the conference. Commissioner John Marinatto has said repeatedly that he plans to hold Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia to those regulations, which the schools agree to prior to their decisions to leave.

In a statement Friday, Marinatto said: "Today's legal action underscores The Big East Conference's stated position that it will vigorously pursue the enforcement of its rights and West Virginia University's obligations under the conference's Bylaws which West Virginia formally agreed to and helped construct."

The Big East remains in the process of issuing invitations to other schools in an attempt to reorganize and build the football conference to 12 teams. The Idaho State Board of Education Thursday gave Boise State permission to move its football program out of the Mountain West and to pursue membership with the Big East for 2013.

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