By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
The Mountain West Conference’s decision this week not to expand is expected to be a lasting one, commissioner Craig Thompson said Wednesday.
The Mountain West presidents met Monday and Tuesday in Las Vegas. Thompson said a vote was never taken.
He doesn’t expect membership to be an issue at the presidents’ next meeting in June.
“I would suspect we’re ready to move on to other items,” he said. “The only thing that would probably change that was if there were additional membership changes in the Mountain West between now and then, which I don’t anticipate at all.
“… It was very simple. They feel very strongly about the future membership and they think the prospects for success are very high. … For the foreseeable future, we are pleased and content to build the league around the 10 future members in July 2012.”
Other notes from Thompson:
— He did not collect bids from the TV partners based on an expanded league. “Because I didn’t know specifically who we’d be talking about,” he said.
— Utah State was the only prospective member he called after the meetings. He had not told them to expect a particular outcome, he said. “I didn’t know what to expect,” Thompson said.
— The Mountain West is talking only with its current TV partners. Colorado State president Tony Frank told The Coloradoan that he doesn’t expect the TV money to change significantly from the current $12 million per year.
— The Mountain West usually releases a complete football schedule in April, with times and TV. The league has discussed an earlier release with just dates, but some of those dates would be changed when the TV partners selected their few weekday games.
— The Boise State-TCU game probably will be placed at the end of the season, as the WAC has done with its marquee game in recent years.
— Beginning in 2012, with 10 football members and an eight-game schedule, the team each school won’t play likely will be selected at random. However, Thompson expects each school will be able to protect up to two rivalries. The league still is discussing whether to play nine conference games in 2014 and beyond.
Boise State president Bob Kustra said Wednesday that individual candidates weren’t part of the Mountain West discussion.
“It’s not as though that meeting was a long meeting to discuss individual candidates for acceptance into the Mountain West,” Kustra said. “That never happened. ”
He also said TCU’s president attended the meeting to try to convince the presidents to overrule the athletic directors on the site of the Boise State-TCU game.
San Diego State president Stephen Weber told the The San Diego Union-Tribune the Mountain West isn’t expanding because none of the candidates were strong enough.
“There was nobody arguing we should have added one of these teams,” Weber said.
Boise State will begin spring ball March 7. The Spring Game is at 1 p.m. April 16. The Spring Game is the only practice currently scheduled to be open to the public.