MORGANTOWN - A Monongalia Circuit Court judge has denied the Big East Conference's motion to dismiss West Virginia University's lawsuit against it.
WVU filed the lawsuit in hopes of being able to move to its new home, the Big XII, more quickly.
According to a story by The Associated Press, Judge Russell Clawges did not rule on another motion from the Big East at a hearing Monday. That motion asked the court to move the lawsuit to Rhode Island, the conference's home base.
Clawges told lawyers he wanted more time to consider the motion, and that he will make a decision by Jan. 1, the AP reported.
WVU's move to the Big XII was announced Oct. 28.
Shortly after, Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said the conference intended to hold WVU to a conference bylaw that requires an exiting school to give at least 27 months notice of its departure from the conference.
WVU filed its lawsuit Oct. 31, asking Clawges to void the Big East conference rules and allow the university to go ahead and join the Big XII to begin play in 2012.
The university says it intends to leave the Big East June 30, 2012, and join the Big XII July 1, 2012.
WVU cites the exits of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, and Texas Christian University's move to the Big XII even before it became an official member of the Big East, as examples of how the Big East has deteriorated as a football conference.
"As the Big East, in less than two months, had denigrated into a non-major football conference whose continued existence is in serious jeopardy, WVU had no choice but to accept the Big XII's offer," WVU wrote in its complaint.
"The denigration of the Big East football conference is a direct and proximate result of ineffective leadership and breach of fiduciary duties to the football schools by the Big East Conference and its commissioner."
Four days after WVU filed its suit in West Virginia, the Big East countersued in Rhode Island. The conference is based in Providence.
Earlier this month, the conference filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in West Virginia. WVU called the Big East's move "a poorly veiled attempt" at changing venues.
The Big East was essentially asking the circuit court in West Virginia to dismiss the lawsuit but asking a Rhode Island court to proceed against WVU on identical claims.
In response, WVU filed a motion to dismiss the Big East's countersuit in Rhode Island.
Last week, a Providence County Superior Court judge said he will most likely rule on WVU's motion later this week or early next.
If Judge Michael Silverstein decides not to dismiss the case, he is expected to consider another motion by the conference for a preliminary injunction.
The Big East, in a motion filed Dec. 14 in the Providence court, wants Silverstein to force WVU to participate in all scheduled Big East athletic events until the suit is resolved.