By Brian Murphy
The Big West Conference has agreed to "entertain" the possibility of Boise State joining the league for most non-football sports in 2013-14, Commissioner Dennis Farrell told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday.
"We did talk about Boise State specifically and where we have come out on this is that we have agreed to entertain interest in Boise State would be the best way to put it," Farrell said. "We're open to at least explore the possibility."
The Big West met Monday and sent Boise State "a new membership assessment tool that we use to gather information from potential new members," Farrell said.
Farrell said the league did not put a time frame on its decision, but Boise State needs to make a decision by June 30.
It would take eight votes (out of 10) from the league's board of directors to accept Boise State into the Big West. Hawaii and San Diego State will have a vote. Pacific, which is leaving for the West Coast Conference in 2013, would not have a vote on Boise State's application.
Boise State is looking for a conference home for most of its non-football sports as it prepares to move its football program to the Big East for the 2013 season.
Boise State was slated to move its programs to the WAC, but with several members departing that league, the Broncos are looking for other options.
"Boise State continues to monitor the changing landscape and is working hard on making the right decision for the future of Bronco athletics," Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle said in a statement earlier this month.
Boise State has asked the Big East for help in placing its non-football programs, a school official told the Idaho Statesman last week. San Diego State's athletic director has acknowledged aiding Boise State as well.
Farrell acknowledged that San Diego State "does have some sensitivity to Boise State's situation."
San Diego State is moving its non-football programs to the Big West when it joins Boise State as a football-only member of the Big East in 2013.
Hawaii, which is joining the Mountain West in football in 2013, is paying travel subsidies to place its other teams in the Big West.
Farrell said these is more of an openness to explore the adding the Broncos this year than last year when the Broncos were initially looking for a home.
"There was somewhat of an openness in the fall," he said. "Whether this will go farther this time, I guess time will tell."
Boise State was a member of the Big West in all sports from 1996 to 2001.
The Big West's membership for 2013-14 looks like this: Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State and Hawaii.
The Big West sponsors baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track and field for men and basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo for women.
Boise State does not play baseball or water polo. The Broncos sponsor wrestling for men, and gymnastics and swimming and diving for women.
More coverage of Big West's decision
• Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union Tribune writes that San Diego State made a push for Boise State at Monday's meeting. He also includes this quote from Farrell: “I don't want to characterize this as a done deal, “Farrell said of Boise State. “What was decided was an openness to explore it. To me, that’s the first step on what could be a very long road."
• ESPN.com's Andy Katz writes that the Big West would likely expand to 12 teams if it added Boise State with Cal State Bakersfield as one of the top candidates.
Become a fan of the Statesman on Facebook.