CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- West Virginia University and Big East Conference attorneys will have their first of two hearings to dismiss their breach-of-contract lawsuits against one another this morning in a Rhode Island court.
WVU attorneys will ask Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein to dismiss the Big East's lawsuit during a 9:30 a.m. hearing in Providence.
At 1 p.m. Monday, Big East attorneys will do the same regarding WVU's lawsuit before Judge Russell Clawges in Monongalia County Circuit Court in Morgantown.
The legal tit-for-tat comes as university and conference officials remain at loggerheads over when WVU can make its exit from the Big East to join the Big 12 Conference.
On Oct. 28, WVU accepted an offer to join the Big 12 Conference effective July 1, 2012. That move conflicted with Big East bylaws requiring schools to give 27 months' notice before leaving the conference.
Following the announcement, it became apparent that WVU and the Big East were heading for a legal showdown to determine when the school can leave, and at what cost.
WVU hit first with its breach-of-contract lawsuit filed against the Big East on Oct. 31 in Monongalia County Circuit Court.
The basis of the school's claim is that administrative incompetence and conference instability over the years has caused the Big East to degrade to the point where it was no longer a viable football conference — leaving schools with no choice but to leave.
The lawsuit asks that, because of that fact, the Big East bylaws be voided, which would allow WVU to exit the conference in 2012.