Report: WVU, Big East reach settlement

Updated: February 10, 2012, 10:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Big East and West Virginia reached a settlement Thursday night that would end their bitter legal hostilities over the Mountaineers' plans to quit the conference, according to a newspaper report.

The Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail, citing an anonymous source, reported that a settlement of the competing lawsuits over WVU's plan to join the Big 12 includes terms for the Big East to receive $20 million from the conditional deal. WVU would contribute $11 million, with the Big 12 covering the remaining amount.

The newspaper says the settlement would clear the way for WVU to gain full membership of the conference on July 1.

An official announcement could come as soon as Friday, according to the paper.

The league is expected to turn out football schedules that include West Virginia in the coming weeks, a Big 12 source told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Thursday.

WVU sued the Big East in Morgantown in November, challenging the conference bylaws in a bid to join the Big 12 before the 2012 football season.

The Big East countersued in Rhode Island four days later, arguing WVU should remain in the conference for 27 months.

Judges in both states have denied motions to dismiss the lawsuits.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto declined to answer questions on Wednesday related to the legal issues or when the Big East's 2012 schedule might be released.

But in the event of a settlement for WVU's immediate exit, the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Wednesday that the Big East plans to compensate Rutgers football's lost conference game against the Mountaineers by having the Scarlet Knights play Syracuse twice.

Meanwhile, Boise State has had talks with the WAC, a source said, about placing the rest of the teams in the league a year early if it were to leave for the Big East in football a year early to replace WVU.

The source said the move is up to Boise State and that the WAC would accept the Broncos a year early if they were to ask.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz was used in this report.

ALSO SEE