Conference Realignment: Mountain West, Conference USA Merger Is Dead

What seemed like an oddball idea back in October with the announcement that Conference USA and the Mountain West would combine forces in at least a scheduling alliance with a possible title game and then a few months later there was talk about a full blown consolidation between the two leagues. However, now the latest is coming from Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports who has been all over this story is saying the two leagues merging "probably will not happen":

The leagues had hoped to dissolve and form a new league or merge into one league for the 2013-14 season, but that is now "unlikely" at least for the immediate future, sources said. Even though the leagues would remain separate, they are still working together to figure out a way to share television, marketing and scheduling resources.

"There is not much talk about a formal merger of the conferences into one conference entity in the near term, but that is still a future consideration," a source said.

Now a merger of the leagues appears even more unlikely. Whatever decision the leagues officially reach, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson and C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky told CBSSports.com last month that a decision will be made by early June.

This is by no means a shocking development as there was so much that came out recently about his issue with only able to earn one NCAA auto-bid if the two leagues became one and also the issue about NCAA tournament money being lost if the two leagues dissolved. Trying to maneuver and getting all the details right for a deal of this size was going to be difficult.

The only thing that seems to be certain is that Conference USA and the Mountain West have all agreed to share television and media rights which should also include scheduling non-conference games against each other.

Count me in for one person who is glad that the two leagues have decided to not merge together. Well, at leas for the immediate future. Now, the Mountain West needs to go out and one more school to get the basketball side back up to eight teams for the 2013-14 academic year.

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