By Brian Murphy
Update: ESPN.com's Andy Katz is reporting that Boise State Interim Athletic Director Curt Apsey called Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell on Wednesday.
When reached by the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday afternoon, Apsey declined to comment on the report or say whether or not he called the Big West.
"In the best interest of Boise State — and without getting more into it — we're considering all potential opportunities," Apsey told the Statesman, echoing his quote to ESPN.
Apsey said he was unaware of Big East Commissioner John Marinatto being in Boise or on campus Wednesday, as reported by the New York Post.
Earlier this month, Farrell told the Idaho Statesman that "I'm not saying we won’t expand beyond 10, but it's not an immediate goal of the conference to do so."
The league will have 10 teams next season when Hawaii, whose football program is joining the Mountain West, puts its other sports in the Big West.
"Going to 11 would be kind of awkward and going to 12 would require us to divide up into divisions. There's some reticence to do that."
Farrell said men's basketball would be a determining factor.
"Before we would bring in any school, whether it’s Boise State or anybody, we'd look at how that school would make us better particularly in the sport of men’s basketball. Would that increase our potential for more lucrative media rights package? those are the issues we would probably look at," Farrell said.
Farrell did not return a message left on his cell phone this afternoon. Earlier Wednesday, he told the Idaho Statesman that "we have not heard from anyone at Boise State. I would take a call if they called."
Current members of the Big West: Cal Poly, Cal-State Fullerton, Cal-State Northridge, Long Beach State, Pacific, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara.
Boise State has not contacted the Western Athletic Conference, the Big Sky Conference or the Big West Conference about housing its non-football sports teams, WAC Commissioner Karl Benson, Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton and Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell told the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday morning.
"We'd be happy to talk to them about that," Fullerton said. "If they needed a home, we'd be more than happy to talk to them."
Said Farrell: "We have not heard from anyone at Boise State. I would take a call if they called."
Benson, who acknowledged an informal conversation weeks ago, said Boise State has not contacted the WAC again.
Boise State is a past member of all three leagues. The Broncos were members of the Big Sky from 1970 to 1996, the Big West from 1996 to 2001 and the WAC from 2001 to 2010. The Broncos moved to the Mountain West on July 1.
If Boise State were to move its football program to the Big East, the Broncos would need a league for their other 18 programs. Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said Boise State – or any school that moves its football team out of the league — would not be allowed to keep its other programs in the conference.
Boise State President Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman on Oct. 15 that the school had not gotten that far.
"We haven’t gotten into that yet. That’s a conversation for another day and is certainly a big factor in what our final decision is and how anything else would work out if we ever were to move in that direction," Kustra said.
"It’s not anything that we have discussed yet. It’s a conversation that would have to happen with the athletic director and his coaches and only then would we know whether or not that would ever make any sense," he said. "We would have to weigh that and how that would look and how that positioned the rest of the sports up against this whole AQ conference issue."
Where to put their other sports would be an important decision for the Broncos, who could be officially invited to the Big East as soon as Tuesday.
The New York Post is reporting that the Big East will invite Boise State and five other schools on Tuesday.
Kustra met with officials from the Big East on Sunday. The Big East believes it can hold onto BCS AQ status with its expansion plan, The New York Times reported.
• Multiple media outlets are reporting that the Big 12 is now re-considering the addition of West Virginia and is considering Louisville instead. Both West Virginia and Louisville are current Big East schools.
• The Western Athletic Conference announced Wednesday that is plans to add two additional football-playing members for the 2013-14 season. That is in keeping with the conference's plan to get to nine football-playing members and 12 overall members.
• BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall discussed realignment at length with Greg Wrubell, the play-by-play "Voice of the Cougars." Mendenhall had some interesting things to say, but this is of the most interest to Boise State:
"Boise State finds themselves in a similar situation. It would make a lot of sense to me, if anyone wanted a partnership and wanted a natural rivalry, to take us and Boise and put us in the league...you'd have two excellent football teams, and I think people would be surprised at what would happen."
CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy has reported that Boise State and Air Force are pushing for BYU to be included in the Big East expansion plans as part of a "West Division."
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