Conference Drama: Is Boise State withdrawing from the Big East?

Tamara Jolee

Conference Drama: Is Boise State withdrawing from the Big East?

CREATED May. 6, 2012

BOISE – It's been months since Boise State president Bob Kustra proudly announced the school’s decision to join the Big East in football only.

The Broncos longed to join an AQ conference and finally it happened.

But – there was one problem.

The Big East didn’t want Boise State’s other sports - so the university was left searching for a conference home. After getting turned down by several leagues, BSU settled on the Western Athletic Conference to host its non-football sports.

Everything seemed fine until the Western Athletic Conference started crumbling. The WAC is on life support and may not live much longer – leaving Boise State’s non-football sports, once again, homeless.

The Broncos now have few options. Either they can pay a hefty fee ($10 million dollars) to leave the Big East in 2013 and stay in the Mountain West Conference – or – beg other leagues to reconsider and allow BSU to possibly buy into a conference to house non-football sports.

For the most part – BSU has remained mum on its future.

Boise State athletic director Mark Coyle attended last week’s MWC meetings and issued this statement at the end of the week:

“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.”

Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson told Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman that Boise State can’t return unless football is part of the package.

“Football allows you to play your Olympic sports in the Mountain West,” Commissioner Craig Thompson told the Statesman Friday, reiterating that the league is not an option for Boise State’s non-football sports if the football program moves to the Big East as planned in 2013.

Thompson declined to say whether the Broncos actually have expressed interest in returning.

The MWC is looking to add two more football schools so it can play an annual conference championship game.
 

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