Friday, June 06, 2003

Sports Law: Let the Lawsuits Commence

Just hours after I warned of the litigation train-wreck, five Big East Conference schools sued the University of Miami and Boston College to prevent them from joining the ACC. The Associated Press reports:
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Hartford, Conn., says Miami and Boston College professed loyalty to their conference while concocting a "deliberate scheme to destroy the Big East and abscond with the collective value of all that has been invested and created in the Big East."

Big East schools went ahead with millions of dollars in renovations and upgrades under the assumption they would be part of a healthy conference for years to come, the lawsuit contends.

The lawsuit was filed by Pittsburgh, Connecticut, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Rutgers against the ACC, Miami and Boston College. Syracuse is part of the potential ACC expansion but was not included in the lawsuit because plaintiffs said they found no evidence the school made promises to stay in the Big East.

The ACC did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

The five Big East schools are suing for financial damages and want an injunction to prevent Miami and Boston College from leaving.
I suspect if this lawsuit proceeds, it will have to be removed to federal court, since it's unlikely a Connecticut state court can sustain jurisdiction over all the parties. Technicalities aside, the suit itself marks the beginning of what could be a protracted litigation war for control of college football. This is what happens when you abandon capitalist principle for altruist ideals.

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