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Suit against Big East remanded to state court

MIAMI -- A federal judge has refused to hear the University
of Miami's lawsuit against the Big East and four member schools,
sending it back to state court.

Miami sued the conference and league members Connecticut, West
Virginia, Rutgers and Pittsburgh in October. The university claimed
it suffered "substantial monetary damages" by remaining in the
league.

The Big East moved the suit from Florida Circuit Court to
federal court in November, although Miami wanted it heard in state
court. U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro--Benages agreed with Miami
and yesterday decided it belonged in state court.

Miami sued the Big East after the conference sued the South
Florida school in Connecticut. The conference alleged Miami was
involved in a conspiracy with the Atlantic Coast Conference to
weaken the Big East -- costing the member schools millions of
dollars.

Miami and fellow Big East member Virginia Tech are leaving the
league to join the ACC after the current academic year ends.
Boston College also is leaving the Big East for the ACC, but not
until at least 2005.