Tag:John Marinatto
Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:20 pm
 

Boise State: 'too late' for 2012 move to Big East

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Boise State announced last December that its impending move to the Big East wouldn't take place until 2013. But with West Virginia still caught in limbo between its old league and its leap to the Big 12, the San Jose Mercury-News'Jon Wilner reported this week that the Broncos might still be considering an offer to step directly into the Mountaineers' scheduling shoes should WVU extricate itself in time for the 2012 season.

Boise president Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman Friday that he had "heard those rumors." But he stated firmly that any move for this coming season is already off the table.

"It's too late. I can't imagine how anyone can pull that off," he said. "We would never want to pull it off in a fashion that dealt shabbily with our existing partners in the Mountain West. I don't think that could ever work."

If the Mountaineers succeeded in joining the Big 12 by this fall -- and with a 10-team schedule already released to the conference's television partners, the expectation both in the Big 12 offices and Morgantown is that they will -- the Big East will be set to play out the 2012 season with just seven members: Cincinnati, South Florida, UConn, Rutgers, Louisville, Syracuse and Pitt. (The Orange and Panthers have both announced their intentions to join the ACC and are scheduled to leave in 2014, but both could look to leave next year if the Mountaineers are successful in their attempt to bolt early.)

Once 2013 hits, the Big East will receive a substantial boost in the form of five new members, the Broncos included. But for 2012, facing the ugly prospect of just six conference games and a matter of weeks in which to find a nonconference replacement for the Mountaineers, it's understandable if John Marinatto would like to see BSU make a last-gasp switch. Unfortunately for him, it seems like Kustra and the Broncos aren't in quite such a hurry.

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Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:31 am
 

WVU files motion to dismiss Big East suit

Posted by Chip Patterson

The ongoing legal battle between West Virginia and the Big East entered the next phase of litigation this week, with the school filing a motion to dismiss the Big East's lawsuit against the university.

[PDF: Read the 133-page motion, obtained by the Charleston Gazette]

West Virginia fired first in this legal battle, filing a lawsuit against the Big East seeking an exit before the 2012-2013 academic year. The league then responded days later with their own lawsuit against West Virginia, filed in Rhode Island Superior Court.

The motion from West Virginia, filed this week to the Rhode Island Superior Court, makes four key points as to why the suit should be dismissed. The primary claim from the school is that Rhode Island's courts don't have jurisdiction over the state of West Virginia. The language in the motion clearly ties the university to the state itself, at one point referring to themselves as "an alter ego of the State of West Virginia."

Finally, the school's lawyers make reference to the "essentially identical" suit brought against the Big East by the West Virginia Board of Governors. The motion requests that if the Big East's suit in Rhode Island is not dismissed, it at least be put on hold until the resolution of the initial action from West Virginia.

As expected, there is no bright light at the end of this legal tunnel yet. As the conference and school will likely continue to wage war in court for the foreseeable. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, the clock is ticking if they want to be able to get Big 12 conference play in 2012. If the Big East wants to hold the school for the 27-month withdrawal period in the bylaws, extended legal battles is one way to spend that time.

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 4:37 pm
 

Big East files lawsuit against West Virginia

Posted by Chip Patterson

PDF: Read the official complaint, filed in the Rhode Island Superior Court

When West Virginia held their teleconference to announce the move to the Big 12, the most popular question was how the Mountaineers planned to compete in their new conference in the 2012-2013 season with a 27-month withdrawal required by Big East bylaws.

At the time, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck answered several times that "our people are working with their people to make that happen."

Apparently that did not work out well for the Mountaineers, with the school filing a lawsuit against the Big East earlier this week so it can join the Big 12.

After Commissioner John Marinatto issued his statement of disappointment, the Big East decided to take action themselves. On Friday, the conference announced they are pursuing legal action against West Virginia.

The conference filed a suit in the Superior Court for the State of Rhode Island, Providence County. It is described as a "breach of contract lawsuit" and seeks an order requiring West Virginia to comply with Big East bylaws. These bylaws include the 27 months for exit, as well as payment of the exit fee.

“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,” Marinatto said in the official release.

This action comes as no surprise, as the presidents of the Big East schools voted to hold exiting members to the 27-month requirement in an annual meeting on Tuesday. What comes next? A long and confusing legal battle over conference responsibilities. Nobody wins, except the lawyers. 

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Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:32 pm
 

VIDEO: Rich Rodriguez weighs in on West Virginia

Posted by Chip Patterson

West Virginia is currently attempting to sue the Big East as a means of leaving the conference before the 27-month withdrawal period. The Big East appears to be fighting the Mountaineers' efforts, as Commissioner John Marinatto has stated the league's intention to hold all exiting schools to the exit requirements in the bylaws.

One person who finds this set of circumstances particularly interesting is former West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez and West Virginia were involved in an eight-month legal battle stemming from his departure to take the open position at Michigan following Lloyd Carr's retirement in 2007.

Now an analyst for CBS Sports Network, Rodriguez took the opportunity to lightheartedly weigh in on West Virginia's situation with Brian Jones on Inside College Football. With the Mountaineers struggling in a legal bout leave the Big East, the former head coach can offer some familiar advice on how to deal with that situation.



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Posted on: November 1, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 11:57 am
 

PODCAST: The Doddcast, Week 10

Posted by Chip Patterson

A surprise to some, but there is plenty going on in college football during this week outside of LSU-Alabama. Senior College Football Columnist Dennis Dodd sits down with Adam Aizer to discuss breakdown the landscape in the Week 10 Doddcast.

Has Houston quarterback Case Keenum made himself a Heisman contender in his record-setting sixth year? What is going on with Miami and Al Golden's contract? Dodd also weighs in the job opening at Tulane and a performance review for Big East Commissioner John Marinatto. Don't worry SEC fans, there is LSU-Alabama talk as well.

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You can listen to the podcast in the player below, pop out a player to keep browsing, or download the MP3 right to your computer.



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Posted on: November 1, 2011 3:50 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Report: Garrett Gilbert transferring to SMU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert will transfer to SMU in January with plans to play football, according to a local report.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting the former Longhorns starter plans to enroll in school for the spring semester, and will be eligible to play for the Mustangs in 2013. Gilbert could potentially apply for a medical waiver for an extra year of eligibility after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery after just two games of action. Without the waiver, Gilbert will be a redshirt senior eligible for only the 2013 season.

Gilbert was 7-7 as a starting quarterback in Austin. His career started with a last-minute call to replace the injured Colt McCoy against Alabama in the National Championship game his freshman year. He started every game the following season, a disappointing 5-7 campaign for the defending Big 12 Champions. Gilbert lit up the stat sheet with 2,700 yards but his 10 touchdowns to 17 interceptions proved to be more harm than good for the Longhorns. Between the surgery and a new offensive coordinator appearing to hand the reigns to younger talent, Gilbert decided it was time to take his talents elsewhere.

Gilbert visited SMU practice a few weeks ago after declaring his intentions to leave Texas, and the Mustangs reportedly are comfortable with the idea of potentially only having Gilbert for the 2013 season.

The Mustangs find themselves in the news this week as they reportedly await the official invitation to join the Big East. John Marinatto announced the official approval from league presidents on Tuesday, and SMU is expected to accept the invitation to join the conference in all sports.

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Posted on: November 1, 2011 1:51 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 1:55 pm
 

Big East Presidents approve, extend invitations

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Tuesday, the Big East held their annual meeting of the school Presidents in Philadelphia. As expected, commissioner John Marinatto used the gathering as an opportunity to get the official votes from league members regarding the specific plan for conference expansion. After the meeting, Marinatto provided a veiled update on the league's plan and timetable regarding expansion and the exit process for West Virginia.

“Our Presidents voted unanimously to extend invitations to specific institutions, including both football-only and all-sport members to join the Big East Conference," Marinatto explained in his official statement.  "I will be speaking to representatives of those schools shortly and look forward to announcing with them their acceptance into the Big East. The addition of these members will extend our reach, bring us to exciting new markets, strengthen our status within the BCS, and lay the foundation for possible further expansion, all while maintaining the high quality and standards our Conference is known for.

“In light of the lawsuit filed by West Virginia yesterday, the Presidents also discussed and confirmed our continuing commitment to enforce the Conference’s 27-month notification period for schools choosing to leave. The Conference believes these claims to be wholly without merit and will explore all its legal options to protect its interests and to ensure that West Virginia lives up to its obligations.”

There are not too many surprises in this update, including the clarification that both football-only and all-sports invitations will be extended. Navy, Air Force, and Boise State are expected to be among the football-only invitations, while Conference USA schools UCF, Houston, and SMU have been awaiting official invitations to join in all sports since the 12-team football expansion plans began taking shape.

The real development in the statement is the league's plan to hold West Virginia to the 27-month withdrawal period. CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy detailed West Virginia's lawsuit against the Big East hoping for an exit in time to compete in the Big 12 for the 2012-2013 academic year. In the Big 12's teleconference, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck explained that "our team is working with their team" to make it happen. Marinatto's statement on Tuesday suggests that this may be a more difficult process than the Mountaineers originally imagined.

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Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 6:44 pm
 

West Virginia expects July 2012 arrival in Big 12

Posted by Chip Patterson

West Virginia president James Clements made it very clear the way he felt when issuing his opening statements on the Big 12 Update teleconference.

"It's a great day to be a Mountaineer, and a great day to be a member of the Big 12 conference," Clements boasted to the media on the line. After a week filed with back and fort reports regarding their conference affiliation, West Virginia finally had a home.

When, exactly, the Mountaineers join the Big 12 is still unknown. Big East bylaws require a 27 month withdrawal period after the official notification from the departing school. Athletic director Oliver Luck confirmed he officially informed Big East commissioner John Marinatto of West Virginia's intentions on Friday morning.

Both Luck and Clements repeatedly used the target date "July 1, 2012" as the school's expected arrival in the Big 12. When multiple questions were posed to West Virginia's leadership on how they planned to leave before the completion 27-month period - the response was predictably vague.

"Our team and their team were in discussion today, tying to make that happen," Luck said of the negotiations with the Big East office.

As required in the bylaws, West Virginia has already paid $2.5 million - half of the $5 million exit fee - to the league offices along with their official notification of withdrawal. Luck and Clements were both confident in their ability to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012-2013 season, though there was no elaboration on the negotiations with the Big East.

West Virginia to the Big 12
Another important development from Friday's teleconference was the Big 12's announcement that the reported grant-in-rights was close to being approved by the member schools. The agreement, which was confirmed as a 6-year deal, is currently "being circulated" among the member schools with the expectation it will be approved in a Tuesday meeting.

The Big 12 announced that this would likely be a stopping point, for now, for expansion. Ten teams allows for a round-robin conference schedule, and "a true champion" to be crowned in the regular season. Missouri has not officially left the Big 12 as of Friday's call, but it was clear they did not expect the Tigers to be a conference member for much longer.

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