WAC Membership Takes Another Hit

Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Karl Benson held a press conference last Thusrday morning to address the changes to his conference. Below is a list of notes compiled by News New Mexico to help NMSU fans understand the basics of the latest conference realignment.
1) The WAC will compete as a nine team conference for the 2010-2011 academic year. In the summer of 2011, Boise State University officially joins the Mountain West Conference. Beginning in the 2011-2012 academic year, the WAC will compete as an eight team conference. During the summer of 2012 The University of Nevada and California State, Fresno will officially join the Mountain West Conference. The summer of 2012 will mark when the WAC as it stands now, will be down to six institutions.
2) Last Friday, there was a written agreement each of the eight WAC members agreed on, to express solidarity towards each other and keep the WAC together. It was a written agreement which contained a five million dollar buyout clause as penalty if one of the member institutions left the WAC. Every University’s president except Nevada’s Milton Glick signed. Instead Glick verbally agreed. The WAC’s legal stance is that Glick’s verbal agreement binds Nevada into the buyout even though Glick is trying to negotiate a lesser buyout. The WAC expects payment from Fresno State and Nevada in 60 days.
3) The WAC may look to add teams from the Football Championship Subdivision to increase its membership. There is a moratorium which blocks FCS teams moving up to FBS status that expires next summer. There is a two year process once an FCS school becomes FBS to become eligible for a bowl game.
4) At the end of each academic year, the revenue generated by the WAC and its institutions is distributed to each member institution. An institution wouldn’t be eligible for year-end distribution in the final year of WAC membership. Boise State is going through that now and will not be receiving revenue this coming June that is normally shared with all of the institutions and the WAC office. Fresno State and Nevada will still share in the WAC’s revenue this coming June for the final time. This means NMSU will get a bigger piece of the pie by splitting the revenue between the eight remaining institutions (Boise State doesn’t get any this year) and the WAC office. However this doesn’t mean that the sum of that bigger piece of the pie will mean more money. It depends on the size of the pie so to speak.
5) Many have speculated for a long time that the University of Montana as a possible WAC addition.
“Montana is going through an internal review process as they have in the past,” Benson said. “The conclusion that has been reached in past was to stay in FCS. Once they go through this next review and depending on what answer comes back we’ll go from there. They are in the WAC footprint. Montana would be another perspective candidate.”
6) In 1998 the WAC membership included 16 institutions. Benson was at the helm when the WAC split and was asked how this realignment compared to the 1998 realignment. “The manner in which it occurred, there are similarities that the roles that the college presidents made in 1998 in the shadow behind closed doors came as a surprise,” Benson said. “This had that same element. Especially considering the declaration of commitment we had last weekend. There is a similarity in terms in the way it was done.”



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