Reports following the return of the Boise St. Broncos to the Mountain West Conference indicate that the San Diego St. Aztecs' return to the league is not a given, but is still a distinct possibility. MW Connection is keeping up with this developing story.
When the Boise St. Broncos and Mountain West Conference jointly announced that the Broncos would be returning (or more accurately, not leaving) the MWC Monday afternoon, it set the dominoes falling. How fast the dominoes fall remains to be seen.
From the looks of it, the domino representing the San Diego St. Aztecs is falling achingly slow.
The Aztecs were part of a package deal with Boise State in the deal to create a West Division of the retooled Big East Conference when it was announced over the summer. Now that the Broncos are no longer Big East bound, SDSU will be welcomed back with open arms, right?
Not so fast, reports ESPN's Brett McMurphy in his update to the story from the World Wide Leader that broke the news on the Broncs decision to not leave for the Big East:
A Mountain West conference source with knowledge of the situation said San Diego State wants back in the Mountain West, but the league is holding up the process as it decides whether there is a better fit than the Aztecs and if there is a school that can deliver more value.
The source said if SDSU returns to the Mountain West, the Aztecs would have to come back on the conference's terms.
Such a reaction isn't a shock considering how vociferous SDSU athletic director Jim Sterk has been about leaving the MWC.
McMurphy also reported this gem from his source:
The league is holding up the process as it decides whether there is a better fit than the Aztecs and if there is a school that can deliver more value.
But McMurphy's word isn't the final one.
In an update to her earlier story about the non-departure of Boise State, the Stefanie Loh, the Aztecs' football brat writer at the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote that Thompson has been "in contact with SDSU about a possible return":
"We’re talking to San Diego State. We have been. Among other institutions," Thompson said, adding that the league has had contact with "three to five" other schools in the last 24 hours.
"Three to five other schools."
That would seem to tangentially confirm talks with say... the Houston Cougars, SMU Mustangs, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UTEP Miners and/or the BYU Cougars, wouldn't you say?
Loh also reported that Thompson played down an ESPN.com report by McMurphy before moving on:
Thompson said any potential return by the Aztecs would be based on a mutual agreement, but pointed out that each member school negotiates its own individual agreement with the league, and that no two agreements are identical.
When asked whether he would welcome the Aztecs back with open arms, Thompson said, "We haven’t even gotten to that point. I’ve talked to (SDSU Athletic Director) Jim Sterk several times in the last 15 hours, but I wouldn’t say that’s an accurate statement."
Loh's report seems to indicate that Thompson and SDSU are in discussions and that the MWC may not be holding a grudge despite Sterk's repeated denigration of the league his school may now want to remain in.
"I think it’s just a matter of timing, and the stage and development of their interest," he (Thompson) said.
As always, stay tuned...