The Lawyers have been engaged. You might remember that Marshall U is one of the three schools looking to leave CUSA early. Both the league and the programs have said they are right, and willing to pursue their legal avenues. Well, the Herd have struck first, filing suit against the league and using their status as public universities in the fight.
The lawsuit contents that, as an arm of the state of West Virginia, Marshall University is entitled to sovereign immunity, based on the 11th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the West Virginia Constitution, which includes immunity from C-USA’s demand for arbitration.
That reminded me of former Texas Tech head coach’s complaint about being unable to sue Texas Tech, because it had sovereign immunity.
In that situation, the former Red Raider coach couldn’t seek relief through the courts because the State would not allow it to happen. It is a funny quirk (okay, not so funny) of dealing with a government. They could choose to just screw you over and then you would be stuck. This was always likely the reason why these programs felt they could break the league’s bylaws and exit. They simply could claim “sovereign immunity” and (in the eyes of the league) screw over everyone and bounce.