The Mountain West Conference will not approve any exceptions “at this time” to San Diego State after the school said it intended to resign from the conference last week, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel.
San Diego State gave the Mountain West notice last week that it “intends to resign,” though it has reportedly not received an invitation to join any other conferences at this time. The letter, the school said, did not count that notice as its official notice of resignation. It also requested a “one-month extension given unforeseen delays involving other collegiate athletic conferences beyond our control,” and a reduced exit fee or ability to pay the exit fee in installments.
The Mountain West, in its return letter Friday, declined to acquiesce to those requests. The conference also said that it doesn’t accept San Diego State’s belief that it had not formally resigned, per the report.
San Diego State will need to give a full year’s notice if it wants to withdraw next June, and it would owe about $16.5 million in an exit fee. If the school waits past June 30 to make its move, that fee jumps up to almost $34 million.
While San Diego State intends to leave the conference, it’s unclear where the school will go. The Pac-12 conference seems like an easy landing spot for a number of reasons. With the Pac-12 set to lose USC and UCLA next year, San Diego State would be a way for the conference to keep a foothold in Southern California. The Pac-12, however, still does not have a new television contract and rumors of conference realignment — specifically with the Big 12 — haven’t died down.
San Diego State first joined the Mountain West in 1999. Its basketball team went 32-7 last season and reached the national championship game, marking its third straight NCAA tournament apperance. The football team has won at least 10 games in five of its last eight seasons, and has a new $300 million stadium.