Recently, the Big East filed a motion in Monongalia County Circuit Court to have Judge Russell Clawges dismiss WVU’s lawsuit against the conference. WVU had an opportunity to respond to that motion, and they did on Friday.
WVU lawyers claim the “Big East ignores the fact that WVU is an arm of the state of West Virginia and should not amenable to the judicial process as a defendant in Rhode Island” and that if the rights of a West Virginia trial are ignored, the “ultimate outcome could be a dispute between the State of Rhode Island and the State of West Virginia.” WVU lawyer’s also claim that the conference’s motion to dismiss the case in Morgantown a “poorly veiled” effort to escape the proper jurisdiction and pick its own.
“The Big East’s message is clear: It is not that WVU failed to state a viable cause of action, it is that justice is just a little bit better served in the Superior Court of the state of Rhode Island,” WVU said. “The Big East’s motion should be denied for what it is — a poorly veiled attempt to escape this court’s proper jurisdiction.”
WVU also argues that it has sovereign immunity as an agency of the state of West Virginia and cannot be sued in Rhode Island. A hearing on WVU’s motion to dismiss is set for Friday, Dec. 16 in Rhode Island, where the Big East headquarters are located. A trial is tentatively set for June 25 of next year; WVU hopes to be (and should be) out of the Big East by June 30, 2012.