What was supposed to be good news for Missouri and West Virginia is accompanied by doubt that either will be moving into new conferences soon.
Missouri has finally received an official invitation to the Southeastern Conference and has accepted.
UM may not be allowed to participate next season, however, because the SEC wants West Virginia’s legal entanglements with the Big East Conference to be resolved first.
West Virginia wanted in the Big 12 so badly that it promised the Big 12 would leave the Big East immediately by filing a lawsuit. May have been the maneuver that put WVU ahead of the University of Louisville in the selection process. A bold move on WVU’s part but one the school may regret.
The Mountaineers followed through on their promise, accusing the Big East of mismanagement. The Big East, in return, filed a counter suit to prevent WVU from leaving. A virtual field day for numerous law firms lusting for millions of dollars to be had in the conference realignment litigation minefield.
The legal precedents are rare and the issues are complex, affecting not only West Virginia but all the schools in the Big East. Other members will be drawn into the cases, as will their separate legal counsel. Court dates will be scheduled, court dates will be postponed, injunctions will be issued, they will be rescinded, judges will be make rulings, only to be overturned on appeal. Has all the makings of a legal quagmire.
The fact that Syracuse and Pittsburgh are hanging around for at least two more seasons would appear to support the Big East’s case against West Virginia. Time will tell whether they considered similar lawsuits and whether the ACC would have been supportive. We think not. Too much ill will created by an additional raid on the conference, and the odds of winning were remote.
If the SEC means what it says, we fully expect another Big East showdown between Louisville and West Virginia next season at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.