Posted by Chip Patterson
The WAC already knew they would be losing the Boise State Broncos to the Mountain West Conference, but they were caught off guard to hear before the season that Fresno State and Nevada had also made plans to make the same move. The conference, which will be left severely crippled with the exit of three teams, has decided to take legal action against the departing universities.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reported Tuesday that the WAC will file a lawsuit against Fresno State, Nevada, and the Mountain West Conference.
The lawsuit, through the Golden, Colo., office of Bradley, Devitt, Haas & Watkins, claims more than 20 allegations. It was filed in District Court in Jefferson County, Colorado.
A message left with attorney Jon Bradley was not immediately returned.
The WAC is seeking that Nevada and Fresno State not withdraw from the conference before June 30, 2012, that all defendants (including the Mountain West) be prohibited from scheduling contests that interfere with games to be played against remaining WAC members through 2011-12, and for further relief as the court sees just.
The Gazette-Journal contacted a representative from Nevada who confirmed that the university had received the lawsuit and indicated that they were "disappointed" that the suit was filed before any discussions had taken place. Nevada and Fresno State accepted the Mountain West Conference's invitation to join the conference on August 13.
One of the fire-starters in this in western realignment was BYU's move to football independence, which will occur officially on June 30, 2011. When the rumors of BYU's independence began, the Mountain West Conference was quick to act to try and replace them. The WAC was hoping to at least get BYU's other sports, but the Cougars decided to take a majority of those teams (including basketball) to the West Coast Conference.