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College Sports, Division I

Possibility of Return for Former Mountain West Conference Members

On November 20, 2012, Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com reported Boise State, San Diego State and BYU have had conversations with Mountain West Conference about the possibility of returning to the league. According to the report, the discussion began after BCS commissioners decided to award an automatic access bowl to the highest-rated champion from the Mountain West, Big East, Conference USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt conferences. This would put the Big East and the Mountain West on equal footing for a potential major bowl game.

The likely loss of Rutgers to the Big Ten and the potential loss of Connecticut or Louisville to the ACC would continue the Big East’s instability as West Virginia, TCU, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame  have left the conference over the past year. The Mountain West’s membership next season, however, will consist of 10 football programs: Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State and Wyoming.

The full article can be found here.

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm has advised, and continues to recommend, NCAA member institutions conduct annual discussions (among all significant decision makers and stakeholders) on the short- and long-term strategic and tactical needs of the athletics department in several areas, including, but not limited to, competitive success and program development. The implementation of any strategies and tactics in the areas of competitive success and program development may involve or require changes in conference membership. Colleges and universities should be ready to make immediate decisions on conference membership that adheres to a strategic plan if another round of conference re-alignment occurs in the next five years.

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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