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Big East, West Virginia Near $20 Million Settlement

The West Virginia Mountaineers are planning to leave the Big East conference and head to the Big 12, starting with the 2012-2013 college football season. Previously the Big East filed a lawsuit against the Mountaineers for trying to leave the conference earlier than they were allowed to, but according to CBS Sports, the two sides are nearing a settlement agreement.

The Big East, though, likely would receive substantial monetary damages. Even Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman said his school might seek liquidated damages against WVU after WVU canceled a Sept. 8 game at Florida State, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

WVU would reportedly settle with the Big East for $20 million, as long as the Big East is able to find another football school for 2012. West Virginia already paid the Big East $5 million in October, and it's not yet clear whether that $5 million is included in the $20 million settlement. West Virginia is planning to play in the Big 12 this season.

CBS also reports that West Virginia is trying to recruit one of the Big East's new schools to play in the Big East in 2012. Presumably the Mountaineers' motivation here is to avoid paying the Big East a larger settlement.

For more on West Virginia, check out SB Nation's Mountaineers blog, the Smoking Musket.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.