September 17

Big East : West Virginia to join Big 12, take Missouri’s place

first_imgWest Virginia will leave the Big East to join the Big 12 conference. WVU has been approved by the Big 12 to replace Missouri when the Tigers move to the Southeastern Conference, according to the Associated Press on Tuesday.The report cites ‘a person with knowledge of the decision,’ who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it hadn’t been formally announced by the school or the Big 12 that its Board of Directors unanimously approved inviting West Virginia.The Big 12 plans to remain at 10 teams right now, and West Virginia would become the 10th member of the conference.The Mountaineers’ impending departure adds to the uncertainty already surrounding the future of the Big East, as the conference would be left with five football-playing members. WVU will be the fourth school to leave the Big East in the last six weeks. Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced their moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference on Sept. 18, and Texas Christian jumped to the Big 12 on Oct. 10 rather than joining the Big East next year as planned.West Virginia has been the Big East’s most successful football program since 2003, when Miami and Virginia Tech decided to leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference. Since 2004, the Mountaineers have won four Big East championships and had no fewer than eight wins in a season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA Big East spokesman said Tuesday afternoon that the conference was unaware of West Virginia’s plans to move to the Big 12. The spokesman said the conference is still pursuing a 12-team football model as announced previously. To reach that goal, the Big East would have to add seven schools without WVU.Calls and emails to West Virginia and the Big 12 were not immediately returned.Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida will be the only football members left in the conference. Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said in a teleconference Oct. 18 that all 14 schools were excited and endorsed the Big East’s expansion plan, which included West Virginia. The schools unanimously voted to double the exit fee to $10 million Oct. 17.When asked in the teleconference if the Big East would consider dissolving if it lost any more members, Marinatto said discussions on the possibility never came up. He also said the Big East was positioned well to adjust to any further movement.Missouri’s decision to apply to the SEC is considered inevitable, but the timetable is uncertain, according to the report. West Virginia’s move to the Big 12 depends on Missouri’s departure, so there is no timetable for WVU to receive a formal invitation, according to the report.But the report said the Mountaineers will accept an invitation when it is offered.When it does become official, the Mountaineers will have to pay the $5 million exit fee. The increased exit fee does not take effect until one school commits to join the Big East. WVU would also be forced to wait the 27 months required by Big East bylaws before beginning play in the Big [email protected] Published on October 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more