By Chadd Cripe
The Mountain West Conference board of directors concluded its meeting Tuesday and announced several important decisions:
— The league has implemented a buyout penalty for the first time and moved the date for notification of a university's departure up to June 30 of the previous year. Schools wishing to leave will forfeit their conference revenue share in their final year, as Boise State did in the WAC in 2010-11. Schools that want to leave and notify the conference of their intent after the June 30 deadline will forfeit the final year of revenue and pay an additional penalty of $5 million or the amount of per-school revenue generated by the conference, whichever is greater. This year's revenue is expected to be in the $3 million to $4 million range per school.
— The board has agreed to an eight-game conference football schedule for 2014 and beyond. It previously agreed to that format for 2012 and 2013. The league will have 10 football members, so teams will miss one opponent every year. The format to decide which opponent schools will miss hasn't been determined. The Mountain West will have a seven-game, round-robin schedule in 2011 because it only has eight teams.
— The conference will implement a state-of-the-art system for basketball instant replays similar to the football system. That will allow the replay technician and game official to control the video rather than relying on the TV producer. Among reviewable plays are clock issues and whether a player's foot is on the line on a 3-point attempt.
— Commissioner Craig Thompson's contract was extended through June 30, 2015. He is the only commissioner in league history. The league began play in 1999.