West Virginia's decision to abruptly cancel their 2012 non-conference matchup with Florida State has left the Seminoles in a difficult position, and the Seminoles' administration may decide to take legal action against the school.
CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy first reported the Mountaineers' cancelation of their Sept. 8 game at Florida State, leaving the Seminoles very little time to fill the spot before the release of the 2012 regular season schedule. Coley Harvey, of the Orlando Sentinel, reported on Saturday that the school may decide to proceed with litigation if the Seminoles are "unable to find a suitable replacement" for the Sept. 8 date.
During Saturday afternoon's FSU men's basketball game, [athletic director Randy] Spetman told the Orlando Sentinel that the FSU may be forced to sue West Virginia if it is unable to land an opponent that would fill FSU's financial needs.
"It's not good timing," Spetman said of West Virginia's decision to cancel.
Although the Mountaineers are contractually on the hook for $500,000, per the game's official contract that was drafted in 2005 and amended in 2009, there could be other damages that FSU would try to persue.
Spetman speculated that total liquated damages — lost ticket sales, potential travel costs for the new incoming opponent, possible changes in television money — could run in the millions.
"We have the buyout, there's that, and then there will be whatever liquidated damages," Spetman said. "If we aren't able to find another team, that's what we're going to have to look at.
"You're talking about a lot of money."
The game was the first of a two-year, home-and-home series between West Virginia and Florida State, with the second showdown to take place in Morgantown, W.Va. in 2013. In his report, Harvey points out that with the both teams expected to be preseason top-10 teams and the game might have been a strong candidate to host ESPN's "College Gameday." Brett McMurphy suggested that Florida State's best options to replace West Virginia lie in the Big East, where all seven remaining teams will need one more game on their 2012 schedule if the Mountaineers leave.
West Virginia's cancellation of the game is considered to be another sign that the Mountaineers plan on competing in the Big 12 in 2012, despite the ongoing legal battle to leave the Big East. For much more on Florida State's non-conference schedule for 2012, follow Seminole RapidReports.
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