MWC waits for ACC decision, ‘open to whatever’

  • Kyle Bonagura, ESPN

    • Staff WriterAug 10, 2023, 06:51 PM ET Close Covers the Pac-12.
    • Joined ESPN in 2014.
    • Gone To Washington State University.As Stanford and

California wait for a choice from the ACC about possible subscription, the Mountain West Conference stays on standby, prepared to react however those dominos fall.After the collapse of the Pac-12 last week, the MWC has discovered itself in a position of strength and stands as a prospective landing spot for the staying 4 Pac-12 schools: Cal, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State.How rapidly the trickle-down effect reaches the MWC will be figured out

primarily by forces out of its control.”It is about what’s occurring with the ACC or whoever [

Cal and Stanford] are speaking to,”MWC commissioner Gloria Nevarez told ESPN on Thursday.Editor’s Picks 1 Associated If Cal and Stanford are accepted into the ACC– a possibility that hit obstructions Wednesday night– there is a prevalent expectation that Oregon State and Washington State would move to the MWC, sources told ESPN.If the ACC does not add Cal and Stanford, however, it’s less clear how things will play out. Considering that Friday, when 5 of the staying 9 Pac-12 schools revealed they were leaving, the MWC has actually been video gaming out various scenarios.”A great deal of it is just attempting to arrange truth from fiction out there, “Nevarez stated.”There’s just so much info about what’s going on, and not all of it is true. From my perspective, it’s referred getting in touch with our athletic directors and presidents and contacts that I have in the industry to attempt to offer our board the very best information out there. “The American Athletic Conference would likewise want to think about adding all 4 staying Pac-12 schools, sources told ESPN.Nevarez declined to offer information about whom she has interacted with or what particular scenarios have been discussed, however worried the MWC is open to considering a number of possibilities.That consists of, however is not limited to, the idea of Stanford and Cal belonging to the MWC in all sports other than football.

This could happen if Stanford and Cal were to pick to go independent in football or discover an existing Power 5 conference to join as football-only members.” We certainly have precedent for that since Hawaii is an affiliate football-only member presently,”Nevarez stated.” We’re open to everything. Absolutely nothing is being shut down at this point.”Several sources expressed uncertainty this week that either Cal or Stanford would be willing to end up being full-fledged members of the MWC, citing the inconsistencies in scholastic

requirements between their schools and the existing conference members. However, the longer the procedure drags out and the schools remain without a house starting in 2024, the more likely that stance might change.”

The paradox is that line of thinking added to where they’re at now,” one FBS athletic director told ESPN, noting the Pac-12’s current unproductive expansion considerations were greatly influenced by scholastic profiles.One possibility is a merger between the Pac-12 and MWC. Regardless of the Pac-12’s demise, the league’s 108-year history provides significantly more brand name value than the 25-year-old Mountain West.

How a merger would be structured, though, would be very complicated.”There’s so lots of questions that would need to be asked and addressed, however I harken back to how great the Pac-12 is and was, “said Nevarez, who went to law school

at Cal and operated at the Pac-12 for 9 years as the senior associate commissioner.”Think about all the assets, the brand, the Student-Athlete Health Top, all the great things they’ve done.”It just breaks my heart that those things are in jeopardy.”The MWC bylaws make it cost prohibitive for any schools to delegate sign up with the Pac-12 by themselves. Each would owe a roughly$ 34 million buyout without the guarantee of a media offer on the other side better than what they presently have in the MWC, where they earn roughly$6 million per year.The nuclear alternative would be for the league to liquify– making the schools free to sign up with the Pac-12 without a buyout– however that would require 9 of the 12 schools to

enact favor, something multiple sources stated has almost no chance of

taking place. At minimum, the Pac-12 would need to have an iron-clad media rights offer lined up that guarantees a significant enhancement to the present MWC offer, which– particularly given the Pac-12’s battle to get a deal done before the collapse– is not likely to materialize. “It is difficult getting nine to vote on a football schedule, not to mention the disillusion of a sure thing, to approach maybe a speculative thing,” Nevarez stated.” I believe that’s what our exit fees and our ballot thresholds are developed for. If there is the will of 9, that implies that there’s a much better thing out there.”On Tuesday, Stanford coach Troy Taylor revealed optimism the Cardinal will remain at the greatest level of college football.”I believe the players that devoted to us and came here, they want to play Power 5 football, which is what our intention is with this university,”Taylor stated.” I can’t envision anything else.”If the ACC passes, he might be required to. The Cardinal could maybe keep its Power 5 status as an independent, similar to Notre Dame, but the school would then have to choose if that is a much better existence for its student-athletes, fans and bottom line than a relocate to

the MWC.

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