Details are beginning to emerge about the status of the possible re-entry of the San Diego St. Aztecs into the Mountain West Conference as well as more reaction to the Boise St. Broncos decision to stay in the MWC.
ESPN's Brett McMurphy, who first broke the story of Boise State's decision to remain in the MWC and eschew a move to the Big East Conference, today reports an interesting development in the SDSU re-entry saga:
As part of Boise State's contract with the Mountain West, obtained by ESPN, the MWC must offer membership to San Diego State before any other school, but that doesn't mean the Aztecs are in. The "right of first option" just means the conference must decide on San Diego State before a Jan. 31, 2013 deadline and then can move on to other schools.
A league source told ESPN Wednesday afternoon "right now the votes are not there for San Diego State" to be approved by the conference.
Sounds like SDSU athletic director Jim Sterk's... um... derisive comments regarding the MWC did not go unnoticed in other MWC cities.
But McMurphy's report suggests that there may still be a light at the end of the tunnel for SDSU:
"I've been in daily contact with officials from San Diego State and we continue to explore the possibility of the Aztecs remaining in the Mountain West," Commissioner Craig Thompson said Wednesday.
McMurphy and ESPN obtained a copy of the agreement between Boise State and the MWC, as did Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman, which published the highlights of the agreement as well as the actual PDF file of the agreement.
The summation includes this detail that McMuprhy also emphasized:
The Mountain West will extend an option to San Diego State to join the league before offering membership to any other institution. The right of first option to San Diego State shall expire on Jan. 31.
Two details that emerged from the Statesman's summation were these (bold highlights added):
• Big East/Big West exit fees: The Mountain West agrees to pay up to $3 million of Boise State's exit fees to the Big East and the Big West. The money will come from Boise State's year-end distribution, which was to be forfeited, and is expected to be $2.5 million. The Mountain West will pick up the rest from its general fund.
• Exit fee from Mountain West: If Boise State leaves the Mountain West before July 1, 2016, it must repay the conference whatever money it uses from its general fund to pay the Big East/Big West exit fees. This is in addition to any other normal Mountain West exit fees.
Oh... and Boise State will now be allowed to go with its all-blue uniforms on the famed Smurf Turf of Broncos Stadium - that detail, which Bronco fans groused about when the team entered the league last season, was set in writing.
As for further reaction, there were a couple interesting ones to come out in the last 24 hours or so.
In his College Sports Media blog, writer Matt Sarzyniak (a big fave over at the very popular MWC Sports Forum) effectively breaks down the TV aspects of the Boise/MWC agreement as well as shedding some light on the reconfigured TV agreement between the MWC and the CBS Sports Network.
In terms of the reconfigured TV deal between the MWC and CBS, the MWC will be selling packages of games. CBS will retain a select number of priority picks and retains primary status. The MWC can then sell two additional packages of games, where in the past CBS could sell those packages. To me, this kinda feels like how the English Premier League does their TV rights bidding, where a package of games is sold and that package may have a mix of top choice, 2nd choice or 3rd choice.
Then there's this little gem:
Note that the "national TV" designation is just the four broadcast networks, plus ESPN and ESPN2. No NBC Sports Network, ESPNU, FOX Sports One/FX or the Turner networks if they decide to get into CFB.
So, even in their own contract, apparently, CBS SPorts Network does not give itself the designation of being "national TV." Using 2012 as an example, Sarzyniak points out the five games that would have warranted the bonuses ($500K for the Boise vs. Nevada game on ESPN and Air Force vs. Army on CBS national; $300K for UNLV vs. Washington St. and BYU vs. Boise on ESPN, for example.
Overall a good read.
Lastly, in his A Jersey Guy blog, noted sportswriter Mark Blaschund - who reported plenty on the lead up to the Boise/Big East break as well as all the deteriorating TV situation for the BE - reported on the Big East angle on the Boise back to MWC story on New Year's Day.
But his most interesting comments came the day before, in his blog entry about Boise's non-departure from the MWC:
If I were Aresco, I would make the call to Conference USA... to form a 16 team all sports conference and make the best of it. I would allow Rutgers and Louisville to leave early (next season) for the Big Ten and ACC. Let Notre Dame join Pitt and Syracuse in the non-football ACC sports as well.
Then I would sit down with the television networks and Conference USA officials and say we have a 16-team all sports, two division conference. Make us an offer and we will sign the deal.
Maybe Mark should be given the nod to run a league, eh?