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Big West to consider Boise State application

Posted: 05/15/2012 11:46 PM

Big West to consider Boise State application 

Big West to assess Boise State

Updated: May 15, 2012, 8:03 PM ET
By Andy Katz |

The Big West may have indirectly helped keep Big East football together for the short term by reversing its December decision to consider Boise State for membership in all other sports.

Big West commissioner Dennis Farrell told Tuesday afternoon that the conference's board of directors, including 2013 member San Diego State, have offered the Broncos an assessment tool that they hand out to any potential new members.

"We asked if they have interest in submitting it to us (then) they can fill it and get it back to us and we'll take it to our board of directors," said Farrell of Monday's board of directors and chancellors meeting. "The ball is in Boise State's court at this point."

Farrell said he expects a decision from Boise State by July 1.

The Broncos have to find a new home for the rest of its sports programs after the WAC was nearly gutted after defections to the Mountain West conference, Sun Belt and Conference USA left the WAC with only four remaining members for 2013 -- Denver, Seattle, New Mexico State and Idaho.

Boise State has had dialogue with the MWC about staying in the league instead of leaving next year. The MWC would like to have Boise State and San Diego State remain for a 12-team league, according to multiple sources, instead of sending the respective football programs to the Big East.

San Diego State accepted an invitation to put the rest of its sports, including its nationally-ranked men's basketball program, in the Big West in December. But Boise State, which is out of the Big West footprint that includes only California and Hawaii, wasn't invited.

The Big East desperately needs Boise State and San Diego State to stay in football for 2013 to help its national profile. The conference also needs two schools to fill the basic need of scheduling for the remaining football members (Louisville, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Rutgers and South Florida) to go along with 2013 all-sport members Memphis, Temple, SMU, Houston and Central Florida. Navy joins the Big East in football in 2015.

College football is moving away from an automatic qualification status for the BCS in two years. The new members would be able to compete for the Big East AQ in 2013. But losing Boise State and SDSU would hurt the Big East's attempt to negotiate a higher rights fee when its television contract is up in two years.

All of these moves are fluid, considering Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich has told the Big East the Cardinals would rather be in the Big 12 if offered and UConn wants to be in the ACC, according to multiple sources. But as of now, neither conference has extended nor has plans to deliver an invitation to either party, respectively.

That's why the Big West's decision to take a chance on Boise State and increasing costs is a bold move. The Big West, which will lose Pacific to the WCC next year, is now an all-bus league, save the one trip every season for each school to Hawaii (which is joining the MWC in just football, but arriving in the Big West in all sports this fall from the WAC).

Farrell said he spoke with Boise State president Bob Kustra on Tuesday and he was receptive to the possibility of the Big West.

"I think he was encouraged that there was an openness to this," said Farrell. "He was pleased we didn't slam the door in his face."

Farrell said this is still a long way to go, but now it's in play. The cost issue is something all Big West members would have to address but were willing to do so going forward.

"We're looking at this from a broad landscape right now," said Farrell.

Farrell said the Big West was willing to stay at 11 when it added SDSU but that was because the Aztecs were within the state. When Pacific left for the WCC, the league was content to be at 10 members. Farrell said if Boise State were added the league would probably go to 12.

Denver, Seattle and Cal-State Bakersfield would be interested, although sources said Seattle and Denver as private schools would rather be in the WCC but may not have a choice right now. NMSU and Idaho would have issues with what to do with their football programs.

Farrell said there were conversations with Boise State in December when SDSU was being added.

"But the timing wasn't right for us to go beyond our footprint," said Farrell. "They had other options at that point in the WAC."

Now, with the WAC falling apart, the timing is right for Boise and the Big West. And if it happens, it might save Big East football for the short term.

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Posted: 05/15/2012 11:50 PM

Re: Big West to consider Boise State application 

Big West will 'entertain' membership application from Boise State

Submitted by Brian Murphy on Tue, 05/15/2012 - 4:41pm, updated on Tue, 05/15/2012 - 8:42pm

By Brian Murphy

The Big West Conference has agreed to "entertain" the possibility of Boise State joining the league for most non-football sports in 2013-14, Commissioner Dennis Farrell told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday.

"We did talk about Boise State specifically and where we have come out on this is that we have agreed to entertain interest in Boise State would be the best way to put it," Farrell said. "We're open to at least explore the possibility."

The Big West met Monday and sent Boise State "a new membership assessment tool that we use to gather information from potential new members," Farrell said.

Farrell said the league did not put a time frame on its decision, but Boise State needs to make a decision by June 30.

It would take eight votes (out of 10) from the league's board of directors to accept Boise State into the Big West. Hawaii and San Diego State will have a vote. Pacific, which is leaving for the West Coast Conference in 2013, would not have a vote on Boise State's application.

Boise State is looking for a conference home for most of its non-football sports as it prepares to move its football program to the Big East for the 2013 season.

Boise State was slated to move its programs to the WAC, but with several members departing that league, the Broncos are looking for other options.

"Boise State continues to monitor the changing landscape and is working hard on making the right decision for the future of Bronco athletics," Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle said in a statement earlier this month.

Boise State has asked the Big East for help in placing its non-football programs, a school official told the Idaho Statesman last week. San Diego State's athletic director has acknowledged aiding Boise State as well.

Farrell acknowledged that San Diego State "does have some sensitivity to Boise State's situation."

San Diego State is moving its non-football programs to the Big West when it joins Boise State as a football-only member of the Big East in 2013.

Hawaii, which is joining the Mountain West in football in 2013, is paying travel subsidies to place its other teams in the Big West.

Farrell said these is more of an openness to explore the adding the Broncos this year than last year when the Broncos were initially looking for a home.

"There was somewhat of an openness in the fall," he said. "Whether this will go farther this time, I guess time will tell."

Boise State was a member of the Big West in all sports from 1996 to 2001.

The Big West's membership for 2013-14 looks like this: Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State and Hawaii.

The Big West sponsors baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track and field for men and basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo for women.

Boise State does not play baseball or water polo. The Broncos sponsor wrestling for men, and gymnastics and swimming and diving for women.

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Posted: 05/15/2012 11:52 PM

Re: Big West to consider Boise State application 

Big West to consider Boise after SDSU's push

By Brent Schrotenboer

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Big West Conference has decided to consider the possibility of adding Boise State as a new member after San Diego State President Elliot Hirshman pushed for it Monday at a league meeting.

“San Diego State has a voice in the meeting room, “Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell told UT San Diego Tuesday. “It’s fair to say there was a sensitivity for Boise that was expressed by San Diego State.”

It’s a critical issue for SDSU. If Boise State can’t find a suitable home for its non-football sports, SDSU might not be able to join the Big East in football next year as planned.

“I don’t want to characterize this as a done deal, “Farrell said of Boise State. “What was decided was an openness to explore it. To me, that’s the first step on what could be a very long road.”

Eight of the league’s 10 members would have to approve the move, including new members Hawaii and SDSU. Hawaii already has an interest in voting against adding Boise because Hawaii is joining the Mountain West this year in football.

By voting against Boise State in the Big West, Hawaii would increase the likelihood that Boise State returns to the Mountain West, a move that would strengthen that league’s football value.

It’s a potential chain reaction. Last year, Boise State and SDSU both planned to move their football teams from the Mountain West to the Big East in July 2013. They were to be the only Big East football members located west of the Rocky Mountains.

To make it work, they needed to find new conference homes for their other sports because the Mountain West prohibits having non-football members.

As a result, SDSU moved its other sports to the Big West while Boise State planned to move its other sports to the Western Athletic Conference.

But then came more defections from the WAC, including the announced moves of San Jose State and Utah to the Mountain West. Only Idaho and New Mexico State are committed to play football in the WAC in 2013.

That leaves Boise with few options for its non-football sports: stay in a shaky WAC, find a new league or back out of the Big East in football to return to the Mountain West in all sports.

If Boise State decided to stay in the Mountain West, both SDSU and the Big East would have a decision to make. Would the Big East still want SDSU without Boise State? If so, would SDSU still want to make the move without its western travel partner?

SDSU Athletic Director Jim Sterk said such scenarios are “speculation” and that SDSU would try to help Boise find a suitable home.

SDSU’s contract with the Big East says that neither party would be obligated to each other if there isn’t at least one other football member west of the Rockies.

Adding Boise to the Big West doesn’t figure to be an easy sell to league executives. All of its teams are in California except Hawaii. Last year, the Big West wasn’t interested in Boise. What changed?

“What’s changed is the world is changing before our very eyes with conference realignment,” Farrell said.

He said there was no “power play” to get new consideration for Boise.

© Copyright 2012 The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC. An MLIM LLC Company. All rights reserved
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Posted: 05/16/2012 4:54 AM

Re: Big West to consider Boise State application 

"He was pleased we didn't slam the door in his face."


Came a tribe from the north, brave and bold...

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Posted: 05/16/2012 10:33 AM

Re: Big West to consider Boise State application 

I saw a documentary on this called "Pimps, Prostitutes and Streets of Vegas"

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Posted: 05/16/2012 10:46 AM

Re: Big West to consider Boise State application 

it would be ironic if bSu played in both the Big East and the Big West.  What is wrong with this picture?eek1
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Posted: 05/16/2012 2:35 PM

Re: Big West to consider Boise State application 

Yeah, more insane madness:  Proud member of the Big East and West. 

Don't be surprised when interest wanes among faculty and students.   At some point, a responsible and reflective university president is going to ask the question - what does it mean when a team's followers consist of only a tiny fraction of people with any real connection to the school? 

That seems like a working definition of semi-pro.
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Posted: 05/16/2012 7:12 PM

Re: Big West to consider Boise State application 

TammyDog wrote:
Yeah, more insane madness:  Proud member of the Big East and West . . .
. . . yet still located in the the center of the universe.


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