The Big East filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Universtiy of West Virginia Friday, just four days after the university filed suit against the conference in a bid to make a quick exit for the Big 12.
The conference said the lawsuit was filed Friday in Rhode Island Superior Court seeking unspecified damages along with an order requiring West Virginia to stay put for 27 months in compliance with Big East bylaws.
If the lawsuit is successful, the Mountaineers would have to wait until July 1, 2014 to make the move to the Big 12.
West Virginia accepted an invitation from the Big 12 last week and wants to join for the 2012 season. The university filed a lawsuit Monday in Monongalia County Circuit Court, claiming the Big East violated its contract when teams began defecting to other conferences.
With Pitt, Syracuse, TCU and now West Virginia leaving the conference, the Big East would be down to just five football playing schools if all of them were allowed to leave.
The Big East has yet to invite new members, but rumors surfaced that Boise State, Houston, Air Force and Navy to join the conference.