West Virginia's Big 12 membership not tied to 2012 entry

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | 8:55 p.m. CDT; updated 12:26 p.m. CDT, Thursday, November 3, 2011

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A spokesman for the Big 12 says West Virginia's membership in the conference isn't conditional on the university getting an early release from the Big East after all.

Interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas had said at a welcome reception Tuesday in Morgantown that a 10th member was needed for next season to fulfill the conference's television commitments.

On Wednesday, Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda released a statement saying the Mountaineers' membership "is not contingent upon (them) joining the Conference for the 2012-13 season." He did not elaborate.

The Big East has said it plans to keep West Virginia from leaving for 27 months under the league's bylaws. West Virginia filed a lawsuit against the Big East on Monday, seeking to declare the bylaws invalid.


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