Boise State has backed out on a commitment to join the Big East Conference and will remain a member of the Mountain West in 2013 — and San Diego State could be next to reverse course.
Boise State and the Mountain West announced Monday they had come to an agreement to keep the Broncos playing in the league they have been a part of the past two seasons.
“The benefits of geographic footprint, revenue, and national exposure have to be balanced against the changing circumstances of conference realignment,” Boise State University president Robert Kustra said in a statement. “I am confident that our Mountain West membership is the very best decision for Boise State University, our student-athletes and our incredible fan base.”
Boise State, which left the Western Athletic Conference for the Mountain West after the 2010 season, is still on the hook to pay a $5 million exit fee to the Big East, though the school says there are “provisions” that could make it less. Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said the conference will help Boise State pay its exit fee.
“We are disappointed that Boise State has decided not to join the Big East Conference,” commissioner Mike Aresco said. “The conference is comprised of a group of superb institutions with outstanding athletic programs.”
The Broncos were scheduled to join the Big East next season for football only. Boise State’s other sports were going to compete in the Big West. But more recent defections from the Big East made Boise State reconsider.
Thompson said his conference has had no formal talks with San Diego State, but members of the conference have reached out to SDSU informally and there is interest in having the Aztecs back if an agreement can be worked out.
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