The developing situation between Boise State and the Mountain West Conference has taken yet another twist.
Earlier this month, the MWC announced a new six-year television deal that would significantly increase the annual revenue for league members. The only problem? MWC commissioner Craig Thompson stated earlier this month that Boise State’s sweetheart arrangement that allowed it to receive broadcast revenue above and beyond what other league members receive — originally part of a deal to remain in the conference after briefly going to the Big East during realignment’s heyday — would be coming to an end when this new deal expired.
That was apparently news to Boise State, which stated Tuesday that the university was “weighing our options to move forward.” One of those options, apparently, was the legal one as it was reported earlier Wednesday that Boise State filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the MWC.
Two hours or so after those reports emerged, a “joint statement” from Boise State and the Mountain West addressed the latest development.
Last week, Boise State filed a complaint regarding media rights against the Mountain West Conference; however, that action alone does not formally begin a lawsuit. The University and the Mountain West are currently in discussions in hopes of bringing this matter to a resolution without litigation.
In the agreement that allowed Boise State to return to the MWC after the Big East flirtation, the university was to receive an additional $2 million in conference revenue annually.
Boise State’s biggest fight in Mountain West play may not come on the blue turf this year but in the courtroom.
The Broncos have surprisingly filed a lawsuit for breach of contract against their own conference in local district court over the league’s new TV deal with Fox Sports and CBS.
At the heart of the matter? MWC commissioner Craig Thompson told reporters in early January announcing the deal that Boise State’s sweetheart agreement to take an extra cut of broadcast revenue — originally part of a deal to remain the conference after briefly going to the Big East during realignment’s heyday — was ending. That was news to the Broncos, who were not too happy with such a change that they apparently never agreed to.
“Boise State’s decision to join the conference was predicated on a number of negotiated provisions, including the right to separately negotiate material terms of media rights relating to our home games,” the university said last week in a statement to the media. “This is stated in our conference agreement and cannot be changed by any vote of the membership or conflicting agreement. We will not support any change to this provision and are in the process of weighing our options to move forward.”
Those options naturally included a lawsuit and that’s just what we have now. Interestingly, based on the timing of things, that suit was filed just a few hours after the school issued their statement on Jan. 17. The university is demanding a jury trial on the matter and is seeking that the re-entry agreement signed in late 2012 with the conference be honored (worth over $1.8 million a year).
We’ll see what, if anything, ultimately comes out of this latest tiff between the MWC and Boise State but it certainly does threaten to loom large over the coming months before the new broadcast agreement goes into effect. The Broncos have had a difficult relationship with their peers in the league ever since they first departed (though never in reality) for the Big East many moons ago and then rejoined the conference.
Now that friction is making its way into the courtroom in a way that could lead to even more fireworks than a typical BSU football game features on a typical Saturday night.
A coaching change at New Mexico has wound up working out for Kansas.
The Jayhawks confirmed reports on Saturday that former Lobos defensive coordinator Jordan Peterson has joined the program as KU’s new safeties coach.
“We are pleased to have Jordan join our staff at Kansas,” head coach Les Miles said in a statement. “He is an excellent teacher and has strong recruiting ties in Texas, an area that is vital to us. A rising star in the coaching profession and a true family man, Jordan is a great fit for what we are looking for in our program.”
A Lone Star State native, Peterson also coached safeties in Albuquerque in addition to his duties running the defense this past season. Prior to arriving at New Mexico in 2017, he was also an assistant at Fresno State. A former Texas A&M defensive back, he also spent two years on the Aggies coaching staff as a graduate assistant as well.
That wasn’t the only change Miles and Kansas announced recently either as the school confirmed that Emmett Jones was been promoted to Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach and given a multi-year contract to remain in Lawrence.
“Emmett has played a vital role in the development of our wide receivers and we look forward to their continued growth this season,” said Miles. “This promotion was well deserved and will be beneficial to our overall offensive scheme.”
The former Texas Tech and longtime high school coach getting a title bump and new deal comes after reported interest by Texas to bring him to Austin in a similar role coaching receivers.
The Mountain West Conference has a brand new TV deal locked in, and it’s a big one for the conference. The Mountain West announced it has agreed to terms on a new media rights deal with CBS Sports Network and FOX that will run through 2025-2026. The six-year contract is valued at $270 million for the conference.
The new media contract with CBS Sports and FOX will send 23 Mountain West Conference football games to CBS, CBS Sports Network, FOX, or FOX Sports 1, and an additional 10 games may be added to CBS Sports Network or CBS’s streaming digital platform, which is a paid service. FOX will air game son both network television and FOX Sports 1. FOX will have first dibs on any Boise State home games as part of the deal. FOX will broadcast the Mountain West Conference championship game as part of its package of games on either FOX or FOX Sports 1.
Boise State continues to be a winner in the new deal with a higher percentage of conference TV revenue share. However, it has been noted this will be the final time Boise State gets such an advantage.
Also of note, Hawaii will be keeping its own local rights agreement. In return, Hawaii will hand over conference games as part of the TV deal. Hawaii’s revenue share will be calculated differently as well.
The new media deal is certainly heavy on traditional television outlets as opposed to the push for digital streaming options. Even though the media landscape continues to move away form traditional cable options, the Mountain West Conference going with a relatively shorter contract shows the conference is still comfortable with the media landscape’s stability for the near future. And for how much the conference will distribute to conference members for the next six years, everyone should be pretty happy about the deal. As far as Group of Five conferences go, the Mountain West has a very good deal in place with multiple viewing options to expand the visibility of the conference’s football and basketball brands.
With that, Danny Gonzales and New Mexico have filled the last open FBS head job (for now).
Earlier Tuesday, reports began to surface that New Mexico was circling in on Gonzales. Late that night, the Mountain West school confirmed that the Arizona State defensive coordinator is its next head football coach.
Gonzales replaces Bob Davie, who parted ways with the program after nine seasons. Weber State head coach Jay Hill and Montana State’s Jeff Choate were considered serious candidates as well.
Gonzales is an Albuquerque native who played safety and punter for the Lobos in the late nineties, then immediately joined the football staff. He remained there for the next 15 seasons, rising from graduate assistant (1999-02) to safeties coach/special teams coordinator (2006-08) under Rocky Long.
When Long was fired, Gonzales left the coaching profession for three seasons. He returned as part of Long’s San Diego State staff, first as safeties coach (2011-16) before being promoted to defensive coordinator for one seasons.
The 43-year-old Gonzales left SDSU for Arizona State after the 2017 season. He spent the past two years as Herm Edwards‘ defensive coordinator with the Sun Devils.
“I would like to thank Danny for all that he has done for this program in just these last two seasons,” Edwards said in a statement. “We had a vision in mind when we arrived in Tempe and he was pivotal in helping turn that vision toward fruition. He is obviously one of the great young defensive minds in the country and when you have that kind of talent on your staff, you have to accept other places will take notice. We want all of our assistant coaches to succeed, because that means that our program is succeeding. I will always put our coaches in a situation where they have the best opportunity achieve that level success for themselves and for their families.
“I know that Danny will represent us well in Albuquerque and embody everything that he excelled at here while he was a Sun Devil.”
Gonzales will be taking over a program that has won eight games the past three seasons after winning nine in 2016. Outside of four New Mexico Bowl appearance, the Lobos haven’t been to a postseason game since 2004.