Boise State Cancels Move to Big East
Boise State has announced that football and majority of its athletic programs will stay in the Mountain West Conference.
"Mountain West presidents made it official earlier today when they accepted the terms of the agreement for Boise State to remain in the league," said Boise State University President Dr. Robert Kustra in a press statement.
Boise State's football program was scheduled to join the Big East Conference on July 1, 2013 while a majority of its remaining athletic programs would join the Big West Conference on the same date.
"Without question, conference affiliation has been an odyssey for Boise State, with all the unexpected turns and changes that term suggests," Kustra stated. "The benefits of geographic footprint, revenue, and national exposure have to be balanced against the changing circumstances of conference realignment."
Kustra said Boise's decision to stick with Mountain West membership would be the best move for its student-athletes and fan base.
Boise's decision to stay was fueled by a new agreement with the Mountain West, where the league will ensure that Broncos home football games are not part of any current or future Mountain West Conference wide television rights contract.
Mountain West Conference has also guaranteed that the rights to Boise State home football games will be sold as a separate package.
The revenue from such Boise State home football games shall be retained by the Mountain West and added to the Mountain West media revenues to be disbursed in the same manner as all other league media revenues.
Boise State and other football teams in the Mountain West who appear on national television (ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) will be paid a bonus of $300,000 per game, with an additional $200,000 for a Saturday game.
"Along with Dr. Kustra, I'm pleased we have been able to work out an agreement with the Mountain West that will enhance the national exposure of Bronco football," Boise State Director of Athletics Mark Coyle said.
However, Boise State will have to pay a $5 million exit fee to the Big East, although there are contract provisions that could lower that amount. The Mountain West is expected to help pay that fee, according to sources.
Boise's change of mind has inflicted another serious blow to the Big East, which has had 14 schools announce they were leaving the league in the past two years.
Without Boise State plus the announcement that the league's seven Catholic basketball schools -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova are leaving the league, the Big East's future membership remains uncertain.
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