By Brian Murphy
Boise State withdrew from the Mountain West late Saturday night, barely beating the league’s deadline and ending months of speculation about the Broncos’ conference future.
Boise State sent a letter to all Mountain West presidents shortly before 10 p.m., the Statesman confirmed. The additions of Hawaii, Nevada and Fresno State become official on July 1, giving the league 10 teams for the 2012 football season.
UNLV President Neal Smatresk told the Las Vegas Review Journal that his school received a letter.
The Broncos have not commented on its decision to officially withdraw.
Boise State is scheduled to move its football program to the Big East and its other sports to the WAC in 2013. Had the Broncos not withdrawn from the Mountain West by Saturday, they would have faced additional financial penalties from the league for departing.
Boise State will remain a member of the Mountain West for the 2012-13 athletic seasons.
The Broncos announced their plans to change conference in December, but did not officially withdraw from the Mountain West until Saturday, presumably to give them leverage as they negotiated with the Big West for admittance in non-football sports.
The WAC has been decimated by defections, leaving the Broncos searching for a home for its non-football programs.
Boise State will forfeit its final year revenue payment from the Mountain West for leaving, likely around $2.5 million. Had the Broncos departed with less than one year’s notice, they would have faced at least a $5 million penalty on top of the final year of revenue distribution.
Become a fan of the Statesman on Facebook.