Boise State withdraws from Mountain West; football to join Big East for 2013 season

by | College Football Insider

Boise State formally withdrew from the Mountain West on Saturday, sources told, meaning the Broncos' football program will join the Big East in 2013.

By withdrawing before midnight Saturday, the Broncos' exit fee is only one year's lost revenue in the MWC (about $2.5 million). Had they waited until after Saturday it would have cost anywhere from $7.5 million to $24 million -- because they would have provided less than one year's notice.

“We are positioning ourselves strategically for the future -- one that will include a dramatically different structure for the college football postseason as evidenced by the changes made earlier this week," Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said.

Even Big East interim commisioner Joe Bailey wasn't sure Boise State would withdraw from the MWC.

"I can't comment because A: I don't know and; B: I won't guess," Bailey told the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday.

It's still unknown where the Broncos will place their Olympic sports in 2013.

In December, Boise State announced it would leave the Mountain West in 2013, joining the Big East as a football-only member and placing its Olympic sports in the Western Athletic Conference.

"There is no doubt that conference affiliation is a difficult and complex issue, but I am very pleased where we stand today and excited for the future prospects of all of our Bronco sports," Boise State President Dr. Bob Kustra said.

However, the WAC has been decimated by defections, leaving only five members. WAC interim commissioner Jeff Hurd previously told his league needed to add at least two schools to remain a Division I conference.

Hurd told Saturday night he didn't know where Boise State would put its Olympic sports.

"I do not know," Hurd said. "I have not had contact of any kind with Boise today."

With the WAC's future unknown, Boise State has tried unsuccessfully to gain membership into the Big West for its Olympic sports.


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