Mountain West commish: No expansion talk

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

LAS VEGAS — Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said his league has not had any discussions about expansion in recent months.

Thompson said the league's athletics directors met in May and its board of directors met in June.

"In neither of those meetings was the word expansion mentioned. I think that's the answer," Thompson said Wednesday morning at the Mountain West media days in Las Vegas.

There have been persistent rumblings about Utah State possibly joining the league, including an an Internet report that surfaced Tuesday night.

The Mountain West has eight teams for the 2011-12 calendar: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU, UNLV and Wyoming. The league lost Utah and BYU in the off-season.

On July 1, 2012, the membership will change again with TCU leaving for the Big East. Fresno State and Nevada will join the league for all sports and Hawaii will join in football.

Thompson said his league is keeping an eye on the Big 12, which nearly fractured last year and could break apart due to disagreements over The Longhorn Network, a new television partnership between Texas and ESPN.

"There's a reason we haven’t talked expansion. ... I think we've been very selective," Thompson said. "We could have changed our membership many times through the years. We've had two membership changes in 13 years. We're selective."

Thompson said personally he does not like divisional play, which would be required if the league expanded to 12 teams. He also said he would have preferred to play nine conference games in football beginning next year, but said there were good reasons to play eight.

• Thompson discussed a variety of issues with the media Wednesday, including the status of the league's television contract, its place in college football moving forward and his belief in the need for tougher sanctions against cheaters in college athletics.

We'll have much more from Thompson's talk in Thursday's editions of the Idaho Statesman.

Right now we're off to talk to players, including Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and safety George Iloka.

I posted highlights of his conversation in real time at Murph's Turf on Twitter.

You can follow Murph's Turf on Twitter.

You can find links to stories, photos and video by being a fan of Brian Murphy on Facebook.

Craig Thompson, what a joke.

He has turn his nose up at Boise State in years gone by and now that his heavy hitters left him holding his less than desirable TV package he wets himself over the fact that he has landed a Boise State and his job is somewhat solid. He feels it's so solid he chooses to allow such a foolish conference rule as no blue uniforms in home games for Boise State. This just shows again the depth of his thinking. Why not get off your rear and get a TV package that will not only be available to your conference fans but also to the woldwide networks like that we were foolish enough to leave behind with ESPN. This will as time goes on prove to hurt the recruiting of student athletes in states we never dreamed we would get kids from. No matter what people say those kids like to play in front of their friends on TV, no matter where they live. When we left the WAC we should have taken our Commissioner Benson with us and given Craig Thompson to the WAC the conference he did everything he could to ruin. This man's a jerk and the conference needs to set some expectations for him if he is to keep his job.

If Texas continues

to insist on it's own TV network, look for the Big 12 to make some changes. Which may or may not include the MWC......

Thompson is a TOTAL JOKE

In his state of the conference speach, he's calling BSU's game at Georgia a MUST WIN for Boise & the conference. He's putting the entire conference success directly on Boise.

What he's really saying is if Boise doesn't win, the MWC conference is in the toilet because he's screwed over the other main teams to the point they left now he needs Boise to save his pathetic conference.

They need to get rid of Thompson & get a commissioner with some spine. Get a commissioner that will get rid of that horrible TV agreement and get one that is in the best interest of the fans and member schools. And, get rid of that petty rule about Boise can't play in blue uniforms in league/home games. Have you EVER heard of anything so STUPID and PETTY?

This guy needs to canned.

wow...

I just read an article that stated 100% of the PAC-12 football and basketball games will be broadcaste on TV and that the teams will split and estimated $3 billion over the next 12 years. I sure wish the MW could command enought clout to garner a TV deal like that. But, I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I can't wait to see what the SEC and Big 10 do to elevate their TV deals...

The SEC and big10

TV deals are actually bigger.....

Once you see them off the TV

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

enlighten me...

why are the pundits proclaiming the PAC12's deal to being a record deal when compared to the SEC and Big 10? Thanks in advance...

1960

The per year amount is the largest to date. But the total of $3B is behind the Big 10 ($3.8B) and the SEC ($3.1B).

Look for the SEC deal to get a little richer when they decide to start up an "SEC network"

I think it's interesting to see the issues Texas has run into trying to get their network up.

Pac-12's contract with FOX & ESPN is worth $3 billion

That $3 billion doesn't include the 12-year contract Larry Scott just finalized with Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner, and Bright House, nor does it include the revenue that the Pac-12's 6 regional networks will bring in. Here are the P-12 networks: Pac-12 Washington, Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 Northern California, Pac-12 Southern California, Pac-12 Arizona and Pac-12 Mountain. The last one (Pac-12 MTN) is rather interesting because it's coverage area could very well include Boise State, that is, if they were to ever invite us.
Perhaps I'm wrong but it looks like the Pac-12 is positioning themselves quite well

Kinda right

those contracts begin next year with the introduction of the PAC2 network.

I agree, the PAC2 (specifically Larry Scott) has done it's homework. They have leapfrogged the other conferences on the TV deals.

Have you heard the rumor that there is a movement to have Scott become the head of the NCAA?

No uh. That sounds like Cosmik Debris.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

I should contract myself.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

He should buy the TV button expander nonetheless.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

too liberal

i'm sorry you feel i have a liberal agenda, your posts are irrelevant and insignifigant YAAAAAAAAWWWWWWNNNNN.

Tourette's-not just an exciting card game it's an orange mint!

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

Li-ion, rechargeable

********
You'd be bananas to feast in my mangroves.

Exploding Orangutans on Malaysian jet....

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

Keep it up, Monkey Man...I'm learning each time.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!