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SBD/November 4, 2011/CollegesPrint All
After officially joining the Mountain West Conference this summer, Boise State Univ. “is now free to accept an ‘imminent’ invitation from the Big East Conference in football and move its other sports programs to another league,” according to a front-page piece by Brian Murphy of the IDAHO STATESMAN. The Idaho State Board of Education voted 7-1 Thursday "to give Boise State President Bob Kustra that authority.” Kustra said, “I would think that by next week we should have a resolution.” Kustra said with the recent moves of Utah to the Pac-12 and TCU to the Big 12, the MWC "is simply not the same conference that we first agreed to join." Murphy reports the move is "largely" about money. The MWC distributes $1.4-1.9M annually "in television revenue to each of its member schools.” Kustra said that “under current media agreements, the Big East distributes $3.7 million to its football-playing members.” Kustra added, “The Big East contract is due for renegotiation in 2012 and knowledgeable sources universally point to significantly increased conference media revenue in the upcoming contract. No guarantees, but a very strong likelihood, in my judgment.” Murphy notes the new TV deal “could be worth $8 million to $10 million annually to each football-playing school” (IDAHO STATESMAN, 11/4). CBSSPORTS.com’s Brett McMurphy reported BSU has "not received an 'official invitation' yet," but would join the Big East in July '13. Kustra said that by BSU “providing more than a year’s notice to leave the Mountain West, the school would not have to pay a $5 million exit fee” (CBSSPORTS.com, 11/3). In Idaho, Dave Southorn notes one hurdle to the move “has been where Boise State would send its other sports.” Kustra said that the school “has spoken with multiple leagues, but has focused on ‘one particular western conference’ in recent days to house its other sports and could reach an agreement ‘in the next day or so’” (IDAHO PRESS-TRIBUNE, 11/4).
MAKING A SPLASH: Univ. of Central Florida President John Hitt said that he “expects the school to resolve all conference affiliation questions within the next week” and added that he “does not think UCF will compete in the Big East until the 2013 season.” Hitt said that fellow Conference USA members SMU and Houston, along with BSU, “have expressed an interest in joining the Big East together because it would make a bigger splash” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/4).