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San Diego State, Mountain West come up with a solution; The Aztecs are “in good shape” through 2023-24

San Diego State, Mountain West come up with a solution;  The Aztecs are “in good shape” through 2023-24

San Diego State will remain in the Mountain West for the time being, ending a month of drama between parties over SDSU’s possible future departure from the league. Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez said a resolution was reached with the school this week that allows SDSU to remain a member in good standing through the 2023-24 season.

As part of the agreement, the school will pay Mountain West’s legal fees due to their recent dispute, according to multiple reports. SDSU will receive the conference return that is withheld. Hey ho! Sports first broke the news.

“I am proud to report that earlier this week, we came to a decision and San Diego State will continue to be a member in good standing through the 2023-24 season,” Nevarez said Wednesday during her opening remarks at the Mountain West Media Days. . I will not comment on the board’s deliberations or the details of the decision. Suffice it to say, I feel like we’ve come to a very good place and we’re very much looking forward to moving forward with San Diego State.”

On June 13, SDSU President Adela de la Torre sent an email to Mountain West and the other 11 schools, stating that SDSU intended to resign from the conference on June 30, 2024 and wanted to discuss a one-month extension of the June 30, 2023 notice deadline and final exit fee payment, According to the letters obtained before the athlete. Over three more letters in the following days, the MWC said it had taken SDSU’s action as formal notice to leave the conference, removing de la Torre from the board of directors and withholding conference payments of approximately $6 million, as prescribed by regulations. .

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SDSU claimed that this was not an official notice, but rather an attempt to start a conversation. MWC Contract Inc. Without a Power 5 invitation available, SDSU confirmed on June 30 that it was not ready to leave the conference. But the MWC couldn’t make a formal decision on SDSU’s status until its board of directors met this week.

The exit fee to leave the Mountain West is three years of conference payments (approximately $17 million) with one year’s notice. Leaving in less than one year doubles that fee to about $34 million.

SDSU athletic director John David Wicker said SDSU can’t afford the $34 million exit fee, so this appears to lock SDSU into the MWC for at least two more seasons.

“We have conference policies that are designed not to completely prevent schools from leaving, because we acknowledge that movement will happen, but they protect the conference when those things happen,” Nevarez said. “Sure, we’ll continue to evaluate and tighten it, but I think our policies sound like a lot of other conferences. I’m really glad we ended up at the end of the day.”

The Aztecs were one of the conference’s crown jewels, reaching the NCAA Men’s National Basketball Tournament this spring. The football team has won at least 10 games in five of the past eight seasons. SDSU has led the nation in combined football and men’s basketball winning percentage since 2010 (73.7 percent).

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The Pac-12 has been considered a natural fit for SDSU since USC and UCLA announced their plans last summer to join the Big Ten in 2024. The Big 12 and SDSU have been in talks but have had each other on the back burner. SDSU had hoped to earn a Pac-12 invitation earlier this year, but withdrawing Pac-12 media negotiations put pressure on SDSU as the June 30 deadline hit the West. Pac-12 negotiations are still ongoing, and all potential future conference realignments await this decision.

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Both the Mountain West and Pac-12 Media Days are taking place this week in Las Vegas.

“My overarching philosophy on the whole thing is that San Diego State is a positive for the Mountain West,” Nevarez said. “We’re better with San Diego State in the league and I feel good about where we are.”

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(Photo: Kent Horner/Getty Images)