MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A judge has denied a motion to dismiss a West Virginia University lawsuit aimed at speeding up its departure from the Big East, allowing evidence collection to begin.

But Monongalia County Circuit Court Judge Russell Clawges says he wants more time to consider a second Big East motion that the case be put on hold while a similar lawsuit plays out in Rhode Island.

Clawges told lawyers after a hearing Monday that he'll likely rule on that issue by Jan. 1.

WVU sued the Big East last month, challenging the conference's bylaws in a bid to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012 football season. The Big East countersued in Rhode Island four days later.

The Big East wants WVU to remain in the conference for 27 months.