"Yes," said the interim commissioner. "We needed a 10th member for next season to fulfill our TV commitments. There's an inventory that goes with the contract. We have to be able to [fulfill] that."
Is he expecting West Virginia to begin play next season?
If it can't?
"Well then I guess for the first time in college football history we'll have home-and-home [games between conference members]," he laughed.
It was a jovial atmosphere. But ...
Are there any contingency plans in case WVU is ordered to remain in the Big East?
"Oklahoma State told me they don't want to play Oklahoma twice," Neinas said, and added he's "not concerned because I trust the two gentlemen [Clements and Luck] on each side of me."
He did get serious for a moment.
"It would be very difficult to obtain games at this late stage," Neinas said. "But we fully expect West Virginia to be there."
Of course, it will also be very difficult for the Big East members on WVU's 2012 schedule to obtain games at this late stage. Unless they demand, say, incoming Conference USA members to join next season. Somewhere, schools will be left in binds.
Clements was peppered on the subject. He was asked if he was optimistic the lawsuit will be settled by July.
"Yeah, but I don't want to make any comments on that issue," he said.
He and Luck both refused to comment on the litigation.
Finally, though, I asked the one question I traveled up Interstate 79 to ask: Do you feel good about the exit?
"As I said by phone on Friday, during the media availability, we were a very proud member of the Big East for a long time, and a good member," Clements said. "But now it's all about the Big 12 and we are thrilled to be a member of the Big 12. The stuff with the Big East will work itself out."
And indeed it will.
But at a cost.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.