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Conference Expansion: Boise State Is Still An Option To Replace West Virginia In Big East For 2012 Season

So, much for Boise State president Bob Kustra saying that it is "too late" to join the Big East in 2012. With West Virginia likely on their way to the Big 12 for the 2012 season, the Big East is desperately needing an eighth team, and Boise State could once again be that team.

According to CBS Sports' Brett McMurphy, Boise State has been in contact with the WAC about joining their league for non-football sports a year early:

"The Big East has been pushing them ‘quietly’ to join for 2012," a source said. "The WAC has had to rearrange lots of [its Olympic sports] schedules [in anticipation of the possible move]."

The buyout penalty is probably what is holding this up and Big East commissioner John Marinatto was asked if the league would help with exit penalties, but he Marinatto could not answer that with the ongoing litigation between the Big East and West Virginia. The dollar amount that West Virginia is expected to pay has varied between $11 million and $20 million, and if that amount is accurate I could see the Big East helping out Boise State pay their exit fee to the Mountain West which is somewhere between $5 million and $8 million and maybe waive the $2 million Big East entry fee.

A decision on half of this matter should be known by known by this Friday as West Virginia's fate regarding their legal fight with the Big East should be known since the Big 12 is expected to release their 2012 football schedule, however there are conflicting reports about if a settlement has been reached. The Charleston Daily Mail is reporting that a settlement between the school and the conference has been agreed to, but Mitch Vingle of The Charleston Gazette is reporting that there is no deal done.

I still say that unless the Big East pays some of the exit fee for Boise State they will be in the Mountain West in 2012.

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