11 May 2012
In a move that shocked absolutely no one in the world of college sports, Pitt filed a lawsuit against the BIG EAST Conference so that it may join the ACC on July 1, 2013, one year earlier than specified in the conference's bylaws.
In the complaint, the university asked for a jury trial to rule on its requests, which include allowing Pitt to withdraw from The Big East Conference at the end of the 2012-2013 conference year without penalty or interference; sharing revenue received by the conference during the 2011-2012 conference year, including money received from TCU and WVU; and reimbursement for damages such as the fees Pitt paid to secure the lost home games with TCU and WVU and to secure replacement games with lesser rivals, the lost ticket sales from disappointed fans, court costs and other financial losses. The Big East has stated that Pitt must remain in the conference through the 2013-2014 season.
Yes...you read that correctly. Pitt is suing in part due to the loss of ticket sales. My question is...did the statute of limitations on this game expire?
Probably. Damn. Anyways, Pitt did lose two valuable home games against TCU and WVU this upcoming season. As we all know, they were replaced by Temple, a team once deemed kicked out of the BIG EAST conference for extremely sub par athletic performance, and Gardner-Webb. Keep in mind that UCF was originally on the schedule, but Pitt was told by the BIG EAST to buy out that game so that there would be an open date for TCU on the schedule. Opps.
So why file a lawsuit to leave when you've already told the BIG EAST you were leaving? Well, apparently commissioners office in Providence was giving Pitt the silent treatment.
Although the Big East’s stated position is that we must stay through the 2013-14 season, the Big East acknowledged publicly that a discussion of our departure after the 2012-13 season was appropriate. A few weeks ago, Steve Pederson met with John Marinatto to begin the process to work toward an exit after this upcoming academic year. The Commissioner indicated that he was doing this with the authorization of the Chair of the Big East Presidents. However, attempts to contact the Big East in the following weeks to move the process forward have been unsuccessful, leading us to conclude that negotiations would not occur. Given the change in leadership of the Big East and the lack of response to our attempted contacts, on Friday, May 11, 2012, we filed a law suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, seeking resolution of this matter. We are confident in our position as stated in the complaint, but believe that this matter is best resolved between the parties. We have notified the Big East of this action, and continue to hope that our departure can be accommodated through private negotiations.
Boise State may also have played a part in this. Rumors were heaving this week that Boise State may be having second thoughts about joining the BIG EAST as have yet to find a conference home for all of their remaining sports. In fact, Boise State has not even given notice yet to the Mountain West conference that it would be withdrawing after this upcoming season. Should the Broncos get cold feet, San Diego State would most likely back out as well. Both teams would compete in the Mountain West in all sports in 2013 if that is the case.
So, is this newsworthy during the off season? Of course. Is the news anything to write home about? Nope...because one fact remains true...
Oh, Steve Pederson, one piece of advice...just don't go spending all of that new ACC TV money on our exit, OK? Great.
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