Nevada, Fresno State to join Mountain West in 2012

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada and Fresno State have agreed to play one more season in the Western Athletic Conference before transferring to the Mountain West Conference in 2012, but will pay significantly less to make the move than the WAC had demanded, the league said Thursday. The two schools wanted to make the change next year, but WAC officials filed a lawsuit that said they failed to provide proper notice to leave the league and would owe the WAC a $5 million departure fee. WAC Commissioner Karl Benson announced Thursday they reached an agreement that allows the schools to make the jump effective June 30, 2012, for a buyout of $900,000 each. That means both of their football and basketball seasons will begin in the Mountain West with the 2012 season. Nevada and Fresno State announced in July that they had accepted invitations to follow fellow WAC member Boise State to the Mountain West. Boise starts play there next season and both Nevada and Fresno State had indicated they wanted to do the same. Benson planned a teleconference Thursday to explain details of the agreement. He earlier lashed out at Nevada and Fresno State for being “selfish” in deciding to abandon the league to seek their fortune elsewhere. He characterized the two schools as partners in crime who – practically overnight – caused the WAC to go “from having a secure and prosperous future to once again not knowing what the future will hold.” Nevada President Milton Glick said at the time that he did not believe that the $5 million fee was enforceable, but that even if it was, it still made sense for the Wolf Pack to join the Mountain West. “I do not know how I would have gone out to this community and said we chose not to join the Mountain West,” he said during an interview in July.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!