Another Big East member has left, and for the third time in two years, one has done so before ever playing a single game in the conference.
Following up on what’s been speculated for the past several weeks, San Diego State and the Mountain West confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the Aztecs would remain in the league instead of moving to the Big East on July 1 like the university had been planning. The news comes just over two weeks after Boise State it announced it would stay in the MWC as well and not leave for the Big East.
“San Diego State University is pleased to be continuing as a full member of the Mountain West Conference,” said SDSU President Dr. Elliot Hirshman in a release. “We are excited about the opportunities our partnership provides for the development of the Conference and San Diego State University’s athletic programs.”
SDSU needed three-fourths approval from the conference’s presidents to return to the league.
“As a charter member of the Mountain West, San Diego State has decades of history and tremendous competitive rivalries with our member institutions,” said MWC commissioner Craig Thompson. “With today’s announcement, SDSU’s membership continues uninterrupted and helps the Mountain West maintain a solid foundation going forward. The Aztecs remain a perfect fit geographically and provide the Conference with a highly-competitive athletics program that includes a Top 25 men’s basketball team, a 2012 MW tri-champion in football and several other league championship programs.”
Because of Boise State’s decision to stay in the MWC, SDSU will not have to pay an exit fee to stay in the league.
As of July 1, the Mountain West will be made up of 11 all-sport members and 12 football-only members They are: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawai‘i (football only), Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV and Wyoming. Exactly what the MWC’s new divisions will look like isn’t known yet, but the Idaho Statesman takes an educated guess.