W. Virginia, Big East Reach Deal, Clearing Way for Big 12 Start

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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — The way is now clear for West Virginia University to join the Big 12 in time for the fall football season after the school announced a settlement agreement to leave the Big East conference immediately.

The school and conference declined to release the details of the deal, except to say that no taxpayer money or tuition money went to pay for the settlement.

“Our membership in the Big 12 offers WVU significant advantages,” said West Virgina Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Oliver Luck in a statement. “The Big 12 is a strong and vibrant conference academically and athletically. We look forward to the potential academic and athletic partnerships and financial opportunities that membership in the Big 12 offers.”

The school accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 in October, taking the place of the departing University of Missouri and Texas A&M – both of which are leaving to join the Southeastern Conference. The Big East filed suit to stop them, saying that the school had violated their contract with the conference.

Sources told the Associated Press that the total settlement was around $20 million, though it was unclear how much of that amount would come from West Virginia and how much would be paid by the Big 12.

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