A judge in Rhode Island has ordered the Big East conference and West Virginia University to enter a non-binding mediation in their lawsuits stemming from West Virginia’s plans to leave the Big East and jump straight to the Big 12 without having to wait the mandatory 27-month period that is required for teams to leave the conference.
A status conference has been scheduled on February 9 by Providence County Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein. The judge also filed an order for the Big East to answer the West Virginia filings by Wednesday.
It is looking more and more likely that the judge will not dismiss the lawsuits and this thing could be dragged out well into the spring. That does not bode well for both the Big East and Big 12 conferences as these two leagues are going to be making their football schedules more than likely before a resolution is found.
The individual conferences will probably make a schedule with West Virginia included and without them.
While it is probably more likely that West Virginia will be allowed to leave, it is not a certainty and the fact that the Big East bylaws state they have to wait the mandatory 27-month waiting period, there is still a chance they will be stuck in the Big East for two more years.
They clearly do not want to be there and have expressed that in more ways than one.
Now this is just turning into an ugly mess that will not end well for either conference.
Stay tuned for what should be an interesting couple of months in Morgantown.