West Virginia University has canceled its Sept. 8 football game at Florida State.
Once again, as they have done with virtually everything since announcing they planned to move from the Big East to the Big 12, they did it behind closed doors, without any announcement or statement.
On Friday, a message was sent to Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman informing him the Mountaineers would not meet their contractual agreement.
The buyout for the game is $500,000. It’s expected that the Big 12 will help with this expense.
“We were informed in writing late Friday afternoon of West Virginia University’s intention to cancel its 2012 football game with Florida State University scheduled for Sept. 8 in Tallahassee,” Spetman said. “We are disappointed for our coaches, players and fans that this game will not take place as originally scheduled.
“We now face the challenge of completing our 2012 schedule just seven months before the start of the season. We will work quickly and diligently to fill the hole on our schedule and will communicate with our season ticket holders and fans as the process moves forward.”
It would not be surprising to see Florida State, coached by West Virginian Jimbo Fisher, fill the hole in its schedule with either Pittsburgh or Syracuse, two teams that will soon be leaving the Big East to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference with Florida State.
Cancelling the game would seem to indicate that either a resolution has been reached between the Big East and West Virginia over the reparations it will pay to leave or that the Mountaineer lawyers and advisers believe a resolution is close.
A court-ordered mediation between two sides is scheduled to begin Thursday.
West Virginia President Jim Clements and athletic director Oliver Luck have maintained from the beginning that despite Big East bylaws that call for a team to remain in the conference 27 months after giving notice that they would be out in time to play this year.
Interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas has also guaranteed that WVU will be in his conference in public statements and a schedule has been drawn up including the Mountaineers. It was to have been released last Wednesday but was delayed despite Neinas’ assertion that it would come out on time and include West Virginia.
As of now the return game in Morgantown between WVU and Florida State remains on, although it is doubtful that FSU will play that game either.
Email Bob Hertzel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.