Nevada, Fresno State join WAC exodus to Mountain West

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

6:55 p.m. — The WAC had a July 1 deadline for teams to leave the league in time for the 2011 season. If Nevada and Fresno State leave, would they be allowed to play in the MWC in 2011? Or would they have to wait until 2012?

When the topic was broached with WAC commissioner Karl Benson earlier this summer in regards to Boise State, Benson said the Broncos would be allowed to leave, but face a stiffer exit fee.

6:51 p.m. — Nevada will join the Mountain West tonight, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

Here's the press release from Nevada: University of Nevada President Milt Glick and Director of Athletics Cary Groth will hold a press conference at 8:30 p.m. (MDT) tonight (Wednesday) in the Hall of Fame Room at Legacy Hall.

6:41 p.m. — Here is BYU's statement, per the Associated Press: “BYU has been reviewing, and will continue to explore, every option to advance its athletic program. At this point, BYU has no further comment.”

The statement was released before the Mountain West Conference officially invited Fresno State and Nevada.

6:28 p.m. — Here are some post-practice quotes from Idaho coach Robb Akey about the possibility of losing Fresno State and Nevada:

"As a coach, it's something I obviously pay a lot of attention to. I'm anxious to see how everything is going to play itself out because there can be a pretty strong impact on our future depending on the ways the thing might go.

"At the same time, I'm not going to get to have a voice in it. You hear so
many different things and we even get a little bit of inside information and
that stuff doesn't always match up, either.

"We're going to need some dust to settle, but this recent thing of events
here. You're talking two things possibly going in two different directions. It's going to be interesting to see which one ends up being the case and what kind of impact that will have.

"Selfishly, I just want to see the WAC come out of it in the strongest
fashion. That's what I'm pulling for."

Thanks to Nick Jezierny for the quotes.

5:27 p.m. — The Reno Gazette Journal is reporting that Nevada did not sign a $5 million buyout clause with the WAC, according to unnamed sources.

5:07 p.m. — The Fresno Bee is reporting that Fresno State will accept an invitation to the Mountain West Conference, citing an unnamed source.

4:34 p.m. — Boise State might decide which league stays and which one doesn't. The Mountain West Conference has invited Nevada and Fresno State. There are rumors that the WAC is interested in San Diego State and UNLV.

I imagine all four are on the phone with Boise State to find out where the Broncos want to play. If it's the WAC, then Nevada and Fresno State stay put and SDSU and UNLV come aboard. If it's the MWC, then Nevada and Fresno State go with them.

If Boise State picks the Mountain West (and brings Fresno State and Nevada), perhaps that's enough to keep BYU from declaring its independence.

Neither conference can afford to lose two members, so the next 24-48 hours are huge. Which domino will fall first?

3:41 p.m. — The Mountain West Conference has extended invitations to Fresno State and Nevada, according to the league's Twitter account. For those that don't trust Twitter, here is the release on the league's Web site.

ESPN.com's Andy Katz reported earlier in the day that the schools had turned down the Mountain West Conference. (Note: His story at ESPN.com has changed since it was first posted. It no longer says that in his story.)

Nevada response

From Nevada president Milt Glick: "We are honored to have received the invitation to join the Mountain West Conference. We are seriously considering the invitation, and do so with the best interests of our athletics program, University, community and Wolf Pack fans as our priority."

3:20 p.m. — For what it's worth: BYU averaged 64,236 fans per home game last year, 27th in the nation.

2:04 p.m. — Dug up this quote from Boise State president Bob Kustra while trying to track down some sources for our coverage:

"That's why it's a good thing there's been this delay," Kustra said when the Mountain West Conference first passed on inviting the Broncos this summer, "because it not only gives the Mountain West presidents a chance to see what the landscape looks like over the next couple weeks but gives Boise State a chance to be reassured the conference we've been anxious to join all these recent years is still the same conference for the most part.

"I would not be nervous over one or possibly two teams leaving, but if
there's some wholesale shuffling I think you want to be very careful."

There's a whole lot of wiggle room in that quote. Kustra must be monitoring the situation to see if anyone else (UNLV or San Diego State) is going to jump to the WAC as well.

1:24 p.m. — Join our live chat Thursday to discuss the Broncos' season opener with Viginia Tech, BYU to independent/WAC and all things college football. Sign up for an e-mail reminder below.

12:46 p.m. — I was among those who said going to the Mountain West was a no-brainer. And I think it was — at that time. At the time, the Pac-16 looked like a real possibility, which would have left Utah and BYU (and TCU) in the MWC.

Things have changed, obviously. As of right now, I think Boise State should be exploring all options, including a return to the WAC.

12:04 p.m. — The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that BYU's move to independence in football and the WAC in all other sports is done, pending approval from the LDS Church, which owns the university.

Here is a blog post on what BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said earlier this summer about going independent.

11:45 a.m. — Boise State faces a tough choice if BYU decides to abandon the Mountain West Conference, a league it helped found 10 years ago, for independence in football and the WAC in other sports.

The Broncos, who have longed to get into the MWC, are now in a conference that doesn't include Utah and BYU – two of the main reasons the MWC was so appealing.

So now Boise State must decide whether or not to remain in the MWC (with its inferior television distribution package) or swallow its pride and return to the WAC (with its inferior revenue distribution).

I believe the WAC would allow Boise State to return to the league for this reason: The Broncos are a valuable television property to ESPN, which is surely involved in these negotiations.

Here are the main questions Boise State must be asking itself right now:

1. Who else is leaving the Mountain West Conference? Are San Diego State and UNLV also considering jumping to the WAC? What about TCU?

2. Is it possible to return to the WAC? And what kind of concessions does Boise State have to make?

3. Is the WAC renegotiating a television contract with ESPN? What does BYU leaving to do the Mountain West's television deal?

Links

• Dennis Dodd, of CBSSports.com, caught up with TCU athletic director Chris del Conte. "TCU AD Chris del Conte tells me school well positioned for whatever happens. Says BYU is all still rumors. Nothing solid yet," Dodd tweeted.

• Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune says BYU's move is bold and admirable. He also says Boise State could be the biggest loser in this scenario.

My take: The Mountain West is probably the biggest loser in this scenario, though Boise State is a close second — as of this moment. That is subject to change. Also, I agree with Kurt: This is a bold decision.

• Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News brings up some of the same questions I did in his blog. Check it out here and here.

• Here is the latest from the Deseret News, which cites sources.

11:08 a.m. — Idaho athletic director Rob Spear declined to comment on WAC membership issues when reached by the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday morning.

"I can’t comment at all on this thing. I've been instructed that all media inquiries flow through (WAC commissioner Karl Benson)," Spear said in a phone call.

Benson also declined to comment Tuesday night.

If I am Boise State president Bob Kustra or athletic director Gene Bleymaier — we've called both — here are my biggest questions:

1. Who else is leaving the Mountain West Conference? Are San Diego State and UNLV also considering jumping to the WAC? What about TCU?

2. Is it possible to return to the WAC? And what kind of concessions does Boise State have to make?

3. Is the WAC renegotiating a television contract with ESPN? What does BYU leaving to do the Mountain West's television deal?

9:37 a.m. — Colorado State issued a statement this morning saying its official Twitter account was hacked last night. CSUFootball issued two tweets late last night, saying BYU, currently a member of the Mountain West Conference, was going independent in football, to the WAC in all other sports and that there would be a press conference Tuesday.

The tweets have since been deleted.

Even without the tweets, reports of BYU leaving the Mountain West Conference have picked up steam Wednesday morning. ESPN.com's Andy Katz has a detailed report here.

Among the details in Katz's reporting: Nevada and Fresno State rebuffed the Mountain West Conference on Tuesday. (Note: Katz's story has changed. It no longer says Nevada and Fresno State have turned down the MWC.)

Here is the story the Idaho Statesman published Wednesday.

Here is a July 30 column from Dick Harmon of the Deseret News that lays out the case for BYU independence.

Here's the statement from Colorado State:

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- At approximately 11 p.m. MDT last night, and again this morning around 5 a.m. MDT, the Colorado State football Twitter feed was deliberately compromised by an anonymous individual wishing to spread multiple rumors and attribute them to CSU.

The tweets did not originate with anyone employed by the university. The tweets have been removed and the athletic department has changed passwords on all official athletics Twitter accounts.

The Colorado State athletic department apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused members of the media or fans following the football Twitter account.

You can follow Murph's Turf on Twitter.

the tweet

The tweet was probably a vandul just trying to aggravate BSU fans. It seems childish, patetic, and immature.

Don't think so BSU commuter

Don't think so BSU commuter school. Buy the way finally Idaho get recognized as a TOP NATIONAL UNIVERSITY and you commuter school BSU is only a Top Regional school finally the truth comes out. Congrats to BSU football though.

Duh!!

Idaho spends twice as much per student as does BSU. Equalize the spending/funding and the disparity will vanish. The ranking is based upon criteria that can be easily remedied by extra funding for BSU. It is logical that adequately funding a university that is close to the largest population base in the state should have a top priority.

DUH!!

90% of idaho students are full time while probably 15% of BSU students are full time. Why would we spend as much on a part time student taking 3 credits as we do on a full time student taking 18? Illogical donkey.

LOL

I'm glad you're putting your LYING WITH STATS 420 class to good use. You DILUSIONAL Vandull you!!

Research?

About 70% of Boise State students are full-time (roughly 13,000 of 19,000 enrolled students).

About 78% of Idaho students are full-time (roughly 9,000 of 11,500 students).

You really think 8% is something to gloat about? In any event, Boise State has 45% more full-time students than Idaho. I'm curious, though -- what else are students supposed to do in Moscow, aside from attending school full time? Certainly not work, intern, or do something otherwise productive. Moscow is a wasteland.

http://news.boisestate.edu/update/files/2009/10/facts-and-figures09-10.pdf

Nice job.

Your made up numbers are almost convincing. BSU does not even come close to sniffing the 70% full time student mark. Talk about making up stats. Wow!

"Buy the way..."

Yes, definately a top national university.

Suck it up, Idaho.

Arbitrary categorizations aside, Boise State is rated higher by U.S. News & World Report than U. Idaho.

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/compare/items+1616+1617+1620+1625+1626

Top Schools in Idaho (based on raw USNWR scores*):

1. College of Idaho (36 points)
2. Boise State University (30 points)
3. University of Idaho (26 points)
4. Idaho State University (4 points)

* Raw scores are calculated using the same evaluative criteria for all schools, regardless of category.

Dang those Vandals

They sacked Rome!
Sprayed graffiti on the I-84 overpass!
Not to mention the whole Vendome Column thing!
Now they are hacking into Colorado State’s twitter account!
Despicable…somebody needs to give these Vandals “what for!” Somebody of a high profile nature, a president of an institution of some sort…oh wait!

Psych 101

pro·jec·tion:
Psychology
The attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or desires to someone or something as a naive or unconscious defense against anxiety or guilt.

$5M to leave the WAC

That's like a pre-nup after the first divorce!

times are changin'

I never thought I'd see the day when a university had an "official Twitter account."

Can the end of civilization be far behind? Our society now has the attention span of primates.

ouch

It appears Boise State left the WAC to go to the future equivalent of the WAC. I suppose it was a good move if the current WAC is no longer DI

I would take

Wyoming, New Mexico, San Diego State and Colorado State over Utah State, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Idaho any day.

Mormons

Anyone ever read up on the history of the church? Joseph Smith told his followers not to do business with the heathens as much as possible....this going independent has everything to do with that.....Wake up US, Mormons have no interest in keeping the United States as the founders wanted it.

Get a life

Try posting something cogent and related to the story.

Same Old Story

Here is one more knot-head who is selling a nickel's worth of opinion as a dollar's worth of fact. No matter how many times they get corrected they continue to peddle the same, tired, inaccurate gobbledygook. This is another one of those "I have made my mind up so don't bother with me with facts." things. Why this guy doesn't stick to the thread is beyond me.

Weird.

Boise Idaho... it's like a wacky weird parallel universe of space aliens that no one really cares about.... but on occasion, it is good for a laugh.

Is that woman still in that Haitian jail? ....and how's Larry doing these days?

Omikey,

I seldom agree with you, but, for some reason, THAT cracked me up....Sunny...

Good questions!

I think Silsby is in jail still....not sure.
Larry has been teaching tap-dancing in his spare time.

___________________________________
"The truth is out there"

Silsby

Nope the Haitians got rid of her and sent her back to Idaho. She is facing legal problems here for other things though.

only a fool

Only a fool would believe the Big 12 would fold before the MWC or the WAC. The Big 12 will strike first on expansion the next round. Does anyone really think they will sit around waiting to get picked off again.
Good thing BYU is making this move now so BSU can sit back and rethink their options.

did obama cause this ?

was this obama's fault ??

Who Knows...

I like the idea of blaming him though.

Nope

Doesn't everybody know it's always Bush's fault?

Anyone else think the next

Anyone else think the next domino to fall will be TCU heading to the Big 12 leaving the poor broncos right back where they started. I can't stop laughing

Laughing?

Wow, a classless vandal fan. But I dont get why you would be laughing. Boise St. will be a perennial Top 10 football team the next decade no matter the conference they are in. Laugh, cry, slap you're grandma, nothing is going to change that.

be careful what you wish for

Wait until the MWC steels away Fresno, Nevada. and leaves the Wac scrambling...

Still laughing Vandal?

1-800-4BigSky

Answer: NO

No "informed" fan of CFB thinks that. It's a well known fact the Big12 does not want a small school and TCU is a small school. It's a well known fact TEX and A/M WILL keep them out of the Big12.

Yes, I'm still laughing...at your post...

Questions to those who supported BSU moving into the MWC

What do ya'll think of the move now?

FYI- I didn't like it then and I don't like it now

Kid...

What does it change IF IF IF the report is accurate? TCU, ranked in the Top 10 is still in the conference. I dont understand why the vandies, whose team and facilities are still garbage, are acting happy. Are we as Broncos supposed to be mad or something? The Broncos will do what they always do, win games. They get better, they budget the cash, and they build.

The reports are true...BYU is gone

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

12:04 p.m. — The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that BYU's move to independence in football and the WAC in all other sports is done, pending approval from the LDS Church, which owns the university.

What does it change? It changes everything!

kid...

What does it change....I cant wait to hear youre vandal prediction. Every BYU fan Ive talked to this morning say no way to this. They specifically said they dont want a Home and Home with Idaho in Basketball. No one wants to go up to that vandal junkyard. Fresno fans who went last year thought it was ridiculous the vandals are even Div 1 after seeing the facilities.

Re: What does it change?

seriously... You don't know?

BTW- This has nothing to do with the Vandals, so why mention them?

What does it change kid?

Why continue to dodge the question?

Im saying you, as a vandal, has a bias opinion. Everyone on this blog knows this.

kid....

waiting......

It changes everything

It changes that fact that BSU isn't joining a stronger conference if 2 of the 3 flagship schools are leaving.

It changes the entire climate of Bronco stadium expansion talk.

It changes TCU's outlook on the MWC. They could be the next school to leave the conference. Then what?

It changes our thoughts from a new beginning in the MWC to the possibility of us going back to the WAC.

It changes the fact that the MWC we left the WAC for isn't the same "the grass is greener" conference we thought it was going to be.

Basically, It changes everything

It changes NOTHING

Name one other school in the WAC thats a Top 10 team...A Top 25 team?

Bronco Stadium gets expanded no matter what.

TCU may decide to leave, but it has to get an invite from someone.

It makes us stop and pause is all.

The grass is still greener. The MWC without BYU is still better than the WAC. You always say that the Broncos play easy WAC teams every week. You can honestly tell me Idaho is better than Air Force?

ohhhh jlandon is just

ohhhh jlandon is just clawing, scratching, trying to hang on to every thread and make up every excuse for bronco bobs blunder of moving to the mwc. Keep clawing JL! i think you've almost convinced yourself!

Im close

I need vandal kid to help me out.

Kid...

The WAC is junk. The MWC will prevail. Fresno and Nevada will stop the bleeding. MWC needs to hunt another player in a large TV audience..Houston..someone like that.

BYU may regret this. They are no Notre Dame and scheduling may be a nightmare with all the conferences playing, etc.

Stadium will move forward, heck, that was being planned when we were WAC

I agree with JL..nothing changes. Move forward.

Kid

has no idea what is going on and is proving it each time..... Cmon kid where are you with your "boy was I wrong" statement again.... Jump in now so you can get some tea leaf reading credibility

there's more going on than you know

I am more in the know than you ever give me credit for. There's more developments to come, I just can't comment on them right now. Time and time again I am right and these blogs prove it out more often than not.

Give it a rest you imposter

You sound just

like the real kid!

and you sound just like B4yadayadayada

seriously...how usernames do you have?

ah yes, there it is

the old kid. i know so much more than i can talk about. you clearly illus-trated your depth of knowledge when you posted that the revised mwc is no better than the wac we left. you are so knowledgeable in your own mind.