Idaho AD: Staying in FBS conference is the ideal situation; Boise State AD says school is closely monitoring situation

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

Boise State AD issues statement on conference changes

The WAC, Boise State's future home for most non-football sports, has been decimated this week. The league has just two football-playing members (Idaho and New Mexico State) left and four others, including Boise State.

The Broncos are scheduled to leave the Mountain West next summer with its highly regarded football program moving to the Big East and most of its other homes moving to the WAC.

But the chaos with the WAC means Boise State may have to find another home for their non-football sports. The Broncos were unsuccessful at getting those programs into the Big West last year and the West Coast Conference seemed to have little interest.

Earlier on Friday, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said Boise State cannot house their other sports in the league without the football program, but left open the possibility of Boise State remaining an all-sports member of the Mountain West.

"We continue to closely monitor the changing landscape of college athletics as a result of the latest news on conference realignment. During this time of change, we remain committed to making the best long-term decisions for Boise State University," Athletic Director Mark Coyle said in a statement.

Idaho AD: Staying in FBS conference is the ideal situation

Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear held a teleconference Friday afternoon to discuss the Vandals' future in light of the massive conference realignment and the exodus from the WAC.

Spear said the school would evaluate at least four scenarios and stressed that remaining in the Football Bowl Subdivision is a top priority.

The four scenarios that Idaho intends to explore:

1. An all-sport membership in an FBS conference

2. Football in an FBS conference with other sports in a different league

3. Football as an FBS independent with other sports in a league

4. Review the feasibility of FCS football

"The most ideal situation for the University of Idaho would be to be in an FBS conference for all of our sports," Spear said.

He said the Sun Belt is one possibility, but said there are other options in addition to the Sun Belt.

Spear said the university was not given an opportunity to make an in-person presentation to the Mountain West before the league decided to add Utah State and San Jose State.

"I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with Commissioner (Craig) Thompson and do a formal presentation," Spear said.

Idaho put together a presentation and sent it to the Mountain West, the league's presidents and athletic directors and, Idaho President Duane Nellis called the presidents of the Mountain West and Conference USA to state his case for inclusion.

Spear said the market size of Moscow and surrounding areas was the biggest factor in being bypassed by the Mountain West.

Spear said Idaho has not done an extensive review of the financial implications of moving to the FCS vs. remaining in the FBS.

"Whatever the final outcome, the University of Idaho is going to be fine," Spear said.

Other highlights:

• Spear said he has talked with nearly every conference commissioner in recent weeks. He said he has spoken with Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton, but that those conversations were more philosophical in nature.

• Spear did not give a timeline for a decision, but said "there's a lot of discussion that has to happen between now and the first of July."

• Spear said it was imperative for the Vandals to improve their facilities. "There should have been a rush 20 years ago," he said.

He said the president has many focuses on campus, including the construction of a new science building. But Spear said it was up to him as athletic director and "it is up to the University of Idaho to figure out how to get these facilities prioritized and done."

• He said repeatedly that a fissure in the FBS was coming with the five big conferences (SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 10 and Big 12) likely to create a new structure. Spear said he wants Idaho to be in the second tier when that happens.

Mountain West adds Utah State, San Jose State; Says Boise State must bring all sports if it wants back in league

The Mountain West officially added Utah State and San Jose State to its remodeled league Friday morning, taking two more schools away from the shrinking WAC. The schools will join the Mountain West on July 1, 2013.

On that date — the same day Boise State will join the Big East in football and, for now, the WAC in most other sports — the Mountain West will have 10 football-playing members and nine all-sport members.

"As we have developed the strategy for the future of the Conference, the long-standing rivalries with our current members and the fit within our geographic footprint made these two institutions the optimal choices to strengthen our membership and position ourselves for the next steps," Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said.

In addition to the Mountain West's moves, Conference USA also officially introduced five new members, including Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio from the WAC. North Texas, Florida International and Charlotte are also joining Conference USA.

The Mountain West and Conference USA continue to work on a partnership, Thompson said during his conference call. He said the announcements were strategically timed.

Thompson hit on several other issues:

• Boise State cannot house its non-football programs in the Mountain West without its football team playing in the league, Thompson said. That has been the league's position all along and is in the conference's bylaws. "Football allows you to play your Olympic sports in the Mountain West," Thompson said.

• Thompson said that Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle was at the league's meetings this week in Arizona. He said there is room for Boise State and San Diego State if the teams decide not to move their football programs to the Big East. "I think there is room at the table. I don't want to get into a hypothetical answer. Yes, 10 members is two short of a conference championship game (in football)," Thompson said.

• Utah State and San Jose State will pay an entrance fee to the Mountain West, but Thompson would not disclose it.

• Thompson said Idaho and New Mexico State — the lone football-playing members left in the WAC — made presentations to the Mountain West for inclusion. Thompson said "their presidents and ADs did a tremendous job." He said there was "considerable consideration" for the schools. New Mexico "pushed hard for New Mexico State's inclusion." Instead, the league chose to add Utah State and San Jose State.

Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear will hold a teleconference at 4 p.m. Mountain to discuss conference realignment.

• The league is working on an agreement that would allow another "15-to-20" football games to be broadcast by a regional network. He said schools would then be able to sell local broadcasts for remaining games.

Big Sky: 'Idaho would be very welcome'

The Big Sky Conference is "basically sitting and watching and seeing where all the chips fall," Associate Commissioner Ron Loghry said.

The Big Sky has 13 football-playing schools and 11 all-sport members. UC Davis and Cal Poly are football-only members.

The league would like to add another all-sport members so it could divide into divisions for non-football sports and cut down on travel costs.

"Part of the grand scheme is to get to 12 and possibly explore divisions and save money on travel. It's there. The presidents and the commissioner are being very deliberate," Loghry said.

South Dakota State was slated to be the 12/14th member, but opted not to join the league.

"They didn't want to make any rash decisions by trying to find a 12th member," he said.

Idaho, however, would be an ideal candidate. The Vandals are former Big Sky members (1965-1996) and would be a terrific fit geographically for the Big Sky.

"It's no secret. It goes without saying that the University of Idaho would be very welcome," Loghry said.

Winners and losers

Chris Murray of the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal has posted his Western conference realignment winners and losers. Do you agree with him that Boise State's non-football sports are losers in the exchange?

Release from Mountain West on the additions of San Jose State, Utah State

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Mountain West announced today that San José State University and Utah State University have accepted invitations to join the Conference, effective with the 2013-14 academic year. The addition of San José State University and Utah State University on July 1, 2013 will bring the full-time membership of the Mountain West to nine institutions and 10 football-playing members.

"We are pleased to announce the addition of San José State University and Utah State University to the ranks of the Mountain West," said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. "As we have developed the strategy for the future of the Conference, the long-standing rivalries with our current members and the fit within our geographic footprint made these two institutions the optimal choices to strengthen our membership and position ourselves for the next steps."

Those next steps include continued consideration of a future association between Conference USA and the Mountain West. The two leagues have synchronized their new membership decisions and are still determining what form the alliance will take.

"Joining the Mountain West in 2013 is an exciting opportunity for San José State University's student-athletes, coaches and our many supporters," SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi said. "I want to thank everyone who worked hard to make this happen. The Mountain West and San José State are a great match. We are not joining this conference to simply compete. We are joining to win, and to build upon our current record of success reflecting San José State's role as a leader in the classroom, research and athletics."

"This is an exciting moment for Utah State University as the decision renews historic rivalries and places us in a conference that is a model of athletic and academic success," said USU president Stan Albrecht. "We are proud to join with this group of high-quality institutions as we continue our very positive upward trajectory. This is a great day for Utah State athletics and for the university as a whole."

"On behalf of the Mountain West Board of Directors, I would like to welcome these two wonderful institutions to the Conference," said UNLV President and MW Board Chair Neal Smatresk. "They clearly enhance the rivalries within the league and strengthen the fabric of our membership. We look forward to having San Jose State and Utah State join us for what promises to be a successful future."

About San José State
Founded in 1857 and with an enrollment of 28,002, San José State is the oldest public institution of higher education in the state of California. Ranked in the top 15 master's-level public universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report, SJSU is also the number one supplier of education, engineering, computer science and business graduates to Silicon Valley, the world's high tech capital. San José provides the sixth-largest media market in the country and is conveniently located midway between San Francisco and Monterey/Carmel.

San José State competes in 16 varsity sports and will be adding a 17th with women's outdoor track in 2013-14. The Spartans have won 10 NCAA Division I team championships and 50 NCAA Division I individual titles. San José State has a winning record in its postseason football history including its most recent bowl victory in the 2006 New Mexico Bowl. Thus far in 2011-12, the Spartans won conference championships in women's swimming and diving, women's golf and men's golf. San Jose State athletes have won seven gold, six silver and six bronze medals in Olympic Games competition.

About Utah State
Utah State, a university with an enrollment of 25,767, was founded in 1888 in Logan, Utah. Identified as the No. 1 public university in the West, and among the top five nationally, on Forbes' list of America's Best College Buys, USU's undergraduate research program is the second oldest in the country after MIT.

Utah State sponsors 16 varsity sports. The Aggies men's basketball program is one of just five schools nationally to record 13 straight 21 wins seasons and has advanced to 13 straight postseasons (8-NCAA, 4-NIT, 1-CIT), which is tied for the 11th-longest active streak in the nation. USU's women's basketball team has advanced to postseason play in each of the last two years, participating in the Women's National Invitational Tournament, while its women's soccer program advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2012. Utah State's football team finished the 2012 season in second place in the WAC and played in its first bowl game since 1997 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

About the Mountain West
The Mountain West was founded with eight members in 1998. Five of the original members remain - The United States Air Force Academy, Colorado State University, the University of New Mexico, UNLV and the University of Wyoming. Fresno State and the University of Nevada will join the Mountain West effective July 1, 2012. Also on that date, the University of Hawai`i will become a football-only member of the Conference.

1336184080 Idaho AD: Staying in FBS conference is the ideal situation; Boise State AD says school is closely monitoring situation Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Statistics can be very misleading

So if a team only played one game and won, they would have a 100% winning percentage and be on top of the list and you would take that to mean they're the best?

And you want facts: http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities
or look up Newsweek's rankings of colleges and let me know where BSU stands on any of the lists.

yes, stats can be misleading when they're used to mislead

A winning percentage is what it is, be it one game or 10 million games. In BSU's case, we're talking 525 games, and their winning percentage in those 525 games is impressive enough that it puts BSU at the #3 mark for all-time winning percentage list and there's nothing you can do or say that is going to change that mathmatical fact, which I guess, is why you're coming in hot with the academic angle, but as far as academics go, all I'm saying is that BSU had a record breaking academic year OFF of the football field this year.

For what it's worth, I am well aware that BSU has a long way to go to be on par with the best universities in the country, but thanks for the link anyway.

spudboy...you have zero clue...

Thanks for proving your opinion means nothing as your bias has shown thru. You tried so hard in that first post to sound objective but it was easily picked apart and discarded. The BYU Utah thing was a joke too. I don't think these boards are for you spud.

No

It really (really) isn't a good fit.

You are correct that other schools they have been looking at also aren't good fits in a lot of ways, but at least they had similar institutional profiles.

I think you meant to say "TV Markets" instead of institutional

profiles, because we all know that realignment has nothing to do with academics or tradition, and is only about the 'eyes' one brings to the TV contracts. If the Boise market was as big as the Portland market Pac12 would have probably called.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Not true at all

Right, wrong or indifferent, academics and research are a big deal to the conference.

Who cares?

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

I agree

on the approach that BSU should have taken. I always believed that a move to the MWC could never work because of the bad TV deal. Everybody else tried to convince me over the years that Boise should just get out of the WAC without ever realizing that nobody wanted to have anything to do with BSU. Now that the big dogs are gone, I don't see how the MWC was really an upgrade in the first place. BSU should have just stayed in the WAC because they obviously had a better TV deal then compared to now. The TV deal BSU had then was a nice recruiting tool, but because Kustra and Bleymaier couldn't think straight, that tool is gone.

Leaving The WAC TV Deal Cost BSU A Nice Recruiting Tool?

I guess that is the reason 10 of 12 games are already scheduled for national telecast this season. The New Mexico game will also probably wind up on ESPN on a weeknight.

The PAC 12

I've heard the PAC does not want BSU because of the university but would like their football team. I've also heard people in the PAC would like U of I's university but not their football team. Could we combided the schools have football in Boise and Basketball in Moscow with a few games each year in the other towns. Idaho would save money on cost and make a bundle with the PAC deals. Maybe get rid of one president and a few coaches and save a million dollars for college students. I know, its like asking the Democrac and Republicans to work together to improve our situation.

§ "combided"

"Democrac"

That's one possible absolution. For further study:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww

They have...

tantric combiding, you know. Don't knock that.

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

There are Republinators, hold a Political Death Match

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

racismsux

Are you saying if Kustra and Blyeymaier could "think straight" we'd still be in the WAC?

Boise

would still be in the WAC with a better TV deal, unlike what they have in the MWC.

Wow....

You need to read more......

And you need to reply to racismsux, Terry.

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

.

.

And BTW...

You need to drop the whole "the MWC TV deal hurt recruiting" blather

There is nothing further from the truth......

This is "Voices", there is no truth.

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

What about the WCC?

What about the WCC? Boise would fit nicely geographically, and with the addition of BYU this seems like the logical choice. They are a strong bball conference and seem to be fairly competitive in everything else. What is the possiblity of Boise joining the WCC?

WCC doesn't fit

BSU is a non-secular public school. None of the WCC schools fit that description on purpose. BYU fits really well.

The WCC has already said it

The WCC has already said it won't take Boise State. It likes the private schools...

And BSU slips around in public.

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

church school league

Sure...bsu could play in gyms that seat maybe 1,500.

BSU could end up losing all the way around

I still believe the move to the Big East was a hasty decision and one that may come back to bite BSU in the end. They knew that the BCS contract was up for expiration at the end of the 2013 season. They should have at least waited to see where those talks might have lead versus going into a panic and making a rush decision. Now, not only are the non-football sports in trouble, but what would happen to football if the whole BCS landscape changes significantly?

BSU might have been better off sticking with the Mountain West, shoring up or creating rivalries and working with that conference on helping change the BCS picture. If the BCS does go to a top 4 playoff system and does away with the automatic qualifying status, BSU might have had a better chance staying in the MWC.

BCS need to figure out how to be a University as opposed to an overgrown community college. Which means promoting and improving academics, endowments, and research in addtion to sports.

I totally agree.

The only thing the Wide Stance conference had to offer BSU was AQ status. Now AQ status, which was the Big East's only claim to a BCS bowl and BCS dollars, does not exist. That means that the weakened Big East is just another CUSA or Mountain West.

BSU has thrown basketball and its other sports under the bus for the privilege of chasing a mirage. Under the new 4-team playoff system, the champions of the SEC, B1G, Pac-12, and Big XII are likely to be heavily favored for invitations. BSU's path to a major bowl and major money is no easier.

BSU

is still going to get 3 times as much money to be in the Big East. That is what it is about. They will get one year as an AQ. The good news, BSU has an out. Since AQ status is going away we don't have to pay 10 million to leave the Big East. If the TV money isn't what is expected, we can leave fairly cheaply. There is no cost for BSU to leave the WAC because Utah State left. Part of the contract was that if any of the former WAC members (Utah State, Idaho, NMSU, SJSU, or La Tech)left, there would be no exit fee. If all fails, we can go back to the Mountain West. It wouldn't bother me in the least to stay in the MWC.

As for the bowl picture, it is still easier than it would be in the MWC.

As it stands, no doubt, the OLY sports got screwed. I've never supported the move for that reason.

After all of this, the only thing I am really thankful for is I'm not Idaho or NMSU. This sucks in every way for them.

So did Heidi Fleiss' ladies.

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

Boise and San Diego should...

make the MWC pay, by forming a true western division of the Big East in all sports, and grab UNLV, Nevada, Air Force, and Fresno, and maybe even New Mexico.

But the MWC did nothing wrong

It was BSU that did the leaving and sort of screwed the MWC. Same thing it did to the WAC. This time though, BSU might have screwed itself.

Not necessarily

The Mtn West's board of directors at the time boise state joined really was being lead by BYU and UTAH, who made BSU feel like the conference was going to be amazing only to have both leave within 2-3 weeks. BSU got single handedly screwed by those 2, and then 3 months later by TCU. I wonder how much Kustra and Bleymeier knew about the likelihood of those 2 leaving and if they lied through their teeth to make sure Boise would join? Or could Craig "Hair" Thompson have put them up to it to make help sure someone would fill their vacancies upon departure?

So if you feel MWC is wrong...

you don't wanna be right?

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

So this where the blame falls squarely on the BSU AD/President

In most conferences, the teams generally try to work together, communicate with each other and essentially become partners in the money making machine. If BSU's AD did the homework he should have done, and talked to his peers at the other schools, maybe the move to the Mountain West wouldn't have happened, or he could have built up a partnership with the other schools in an effort to improve things. Instead, I perceive that he took up a haughty attitude that said BSU was too good for the WAC and moved to the MWC as a knee jerk reaction. (Since he wasn't going to get an invite from any of the other conferences)

Good thing is that BSU replaced that AD, unfortunately seems like they may have hired someone with the same disposition. Either that or Kustra has now screwed up twice.

Boise State should have been able to leave with no penalty

THe whole reason for joining was due to the increase competition. Yet, after we announced our intent to join, the three best teams in the MWC decided to leave. That left Boise State in a massively depleted conference with two of the worst football teams in the country (UNLV and New Mexico). Boise State should have made sure that this wouldn't happen prior to joining. But, we didn't. Now, we're in a conference that really sucks. And, we're trying to fix it.

Drugs, drogas, pharmaceuticals...it's all the same thing

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

Appears thats where it may go---

The MWC and Conf USA is grabbing all the teams they can right now because the Big East will "have" to creat a west division that plays all sports or the west teams will be hurt down the road. Both MWC and Conf USA are on a downhill plunge with all the smaller teams that they are inviting this year compared to what was in conference when BSU joined. I dont have a clue what Conf USA is thinking with their invites?
BSU jumped eyes wide shut into the MWC, at the time we joined the red flags were everywhere and its time to dump that conference--period.

When we were invited...

The idea was that a conference of Boise State, Utah, TCU, and BYU would be far stronger than the Big East, and on par with the ACC. Yet, once BSU joined, those three schools bolted, leaving Boise State in a worse conference than the one they just left.

Yes, BSU's non-football sports...

...are huge, HUGE losers in all this. If aliens kidnapped the football team tomorrow, what was left of Bronco athletics (except for wrestling) would be in the same sorry shape as the U of I.

I remember when BSU basketball rivaled football in popularity, when the Pavilion was filled to the rafters, and fans didn't treat the university like its only purpose was to deliver football games. It is a shame that Bronco Bob and a vocal cadre of fans are willing to make student athletes in basketball, tennis, gymnastics, and the newer sports play in a disintegrating conference so that football can pursue its (very iffy) Big East adventure.

Stay in the MWC...?

Sounds like we should stay in the MWC. Television is getting better, the BCS is changing. The Big East really isn't looking amazing as far as better competition, and Thompson seems open to the idea.

Ya Thompson is open for ideas

Now that his conference is dead meat as far as top football teams go. Kinda appears to me him Conf USA and him has made it their goal to break the WAC. And hope that will keep SDSU and BSU in the fold.
Pretty much what he tryed to do when BYU split. BSU helped him right along, so now like BYU we'll have to do whats best for BSU or stay and keep being bulled around.
What no blue uniforms on the road next??

Screw me once, Sham on you, Screw me Twice Shame on Me

After what BSU pulled on Nevada and Fresno, I doubt they would want to do anything with BSU. Hope they are both getting a good laugh at BSU's expense. What goes around, comes around.

You mean based on the fact that

Boise State was the primary voice for their inclusion when the entire BYU defection fiasco occurred?

Big East & Thompson is a Moron

The Big East is still the best option. BSU has no reason to not move forward with the Big East move. BSU has to solve the issue of where the other sports go, but BSU will make at least $5,000,000, that's 5 Million dollars more from being in the Big East. The teams in the Big East are still better than the MWC, especially as they let more team that are not very good into the MWC to increase numbers.

PS. Thompson is a moron. He didn't exactly support BSU, until Utah was leaving. There was the Blue uniform rule. The BAD TV. BYU left because of him. Why would BSU want to be in the MWC. So we can play Utah State again?

Thompson and MWC

I agree, Thompson always made it clear he did not want BSU. It was when his back was up against the wall that he took us. The fact that he will not let our non-football teams stay in the MWC shows what kind of conference this is. Things will continue to change during the next year and I'm sure BSU will do everything it can to get our non-football teams in the best conference possible. But I think going back to the MWC the way it is run now would be a huge mistake. It is funny how the MWC was firm on its TV contracts, but now that they are falling apart they are willing to make changes to it. If they would have made changes to the TV contract before BSU, Utah, BYU and TCU would probably still be there.

Basketball and Other Sports In Big West

So I am wondering why Boise State is not seeking a return of the other sports to the BIG WEST. This conference is a mid major and I believe supports all sports other than football. The Big West conference would give BSU very high exposure to the California market. BSU would be very competitive in tennis, swimming, softball and gymnastics and regain a basketball recruiting area which they are about to lose. The PAC-12 might look at tennis and gymnastics since they are always competitive.

who says they aren't?

or if they would even be open to the idea BSU?

The Big West may turn out...

...to be BSU's best option, but they will likely have to buy their way in. BSU will need the Big West more than the Big West will want/need them. They have been an all-California conference for over a decade and have no reason or desire to change that.

Well except for that one notable University

in Hawaii.

Here's the funny thing...

BSU's chances of getting a Big West invite in non-football sports increase if they have a travel partner that makes geographic sense.

Hmmm...I wonder what schools that meet such a description might be both available and interested?