Hours before the deadline to give Mountain West a year’s notice of withdrawal, San Diego State University reaffirmed its membership in the conference.
So is everything peaceful?
SDSU claims it never formally withdrew. But Mountain West still claims so.
The exchange of letters between universities and academic societies continued over the weekend, and lawyers are now actively involved. At issue is a $6.6 million share of the 2022-23 school year distribution that Mountain West has set aside to cover SDSU’s exit costs, awaiting reinstatement by the board.
A July 1 letter from Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez to SDSU President Adela de la Torre, in response to Dela Torre’s letter on Friday, states: We will discuss this at the board meeting in July.” The Aztecs remained at the meeting.
That meeting is scheduled for July 17, and Mr. De La Torre will not attend because he was removed from the Board pursuant to Mountain West’s bylaws for members leaving meetings.
Officials for SDSU and Mountain West declined to comment, as they have throughout the entire episode of writing the letter. However, meeting officials said the SDSU is considering options, including legal recourse.
The Aztecs will spend 2023-2024 in the Mountain West. There is no dispute on this point, as any “resignation” will not take effect until July 1, 2024. But it remains unclear where he will play after that, as he awaits a belated invitation from Pac-12 and a return from a conference he claims he never left.
At the last count, at least six letters have been exchanged in the last three weeks. They started amicably between De La Torre and Nevarez. Lawyers are now involved, and the language is filled with legal jargon and more acerbic language.
The university released the first four letters last week. The Union-Tribune obtained the 5th and 6th Mondays.
A quick summary for those keeping score at home.
character 1: On June 13, Mr. DeLa Torre wrote to Mr. Nevarez and all 11 other presidents to “formally notify San Diego State University of its intention to resign,” asking about flexibility in terms of withdrawal. sent. According to Mountain West’s bylaws, if a member provides the commissioner and all 11 other presidents with one year’s notice of resignation by June 30, there will be a termination fee of approximately $17 million, and June 30. After that date, it will be double that.
“It was a real pleasure to work and compete with each of our member universities,” added de la Torre.
letter 2: Nevarez sends reply confirming SDSU’s ‘resignation notice’, removes De La Torre from board and freezes university’s share of 2022-2023 distribution as first installment of exit costs Initiate separation procedures, including
“My heart is heavy to hear this news,” Nevarez wrote. “We wish you all the best with the new conference and look forward to working with you to ensure a smooth transition.”
letter 3De la Torre clarifies that June 13 letter was “not a formal resignation letter” and was only intended to start talks on a one-month extension to the June 30 deadline and other exit terms. .
letter 4: Mr. Nevarez replied that the board “does not approve any waivers[of the bylaws]at this time,” but does not accept Mr. de la Torre’s assertion that the SDSU did not withdraw from the meeting.
letter 5: The Friday 11pm deadline is approaching, but with no movement on invitations from Pac-12 and other conferences, SDSU claims it hasn’t withdrawn from Mountain West, which is likely That means it’s likely to stay for at least another two years.
“We previously communicated that SDSU has not made a final decision on whether to step down from the Mountain West Conference,” De La Torre wrote. “SDSU has decided to remain in the Mountain West Conference and I am therefore pleased to announce that I am not stepping down at this time.”
letter 6: The conference responded Saturday that it would withhold payment of $6,602,233.48 due to the university this week as the first round of exit fees “in connection with receipt of SDSU’s resignation notice,” as permitted by the bylaws.
Translation: You retire on July 1, 2024 and owe us $17 million.
So why is Mountain West, considered by many to be the frontrunners who took the conference to new heights with a trip to the men’s basketball national championship game just three months ago, taking a tough approach? was it?
Some strategies may be working. One might be simple envy and retaliation for how the SDSU approached a possible exit from the powerhouse. The Aztecs think they’ve already taken a step, so why do good things? If the 2024-25 Pac-12 Invitational takes place later this summer, the SDSU could gain leverage if it tries to negotiate a lower exit fee.
Another could be an attempt to broker a long-term commitment from SDSU to the conference, further squeezing the Aztecs’ share of the NCAA tournament in men’s basketball and their value to their television partners. (With his 2023 NCAA streak, the conference earned an estimated $10 million over the next six years.)
It’s also unclear where Mountain West’s terrestrial TV partners, CBS and Fox, stand on the matter. With SDSU out of the conference, the network could restructure its media rights deal to run through 2025-26, theoretically paying less to its remaining members without the Aztecs and San Diego markets.
Prior to each season, CBS and Fox select which regular-season conference basketball games will be broadcast on their various channels. All 18 games from SDSU were selected, including two from CBS giants and one from Fox. Second-placed Boise state has 12 of 18 picks, both of which count against the Aztecs, and no major network picks. San Jose State University had only six schools.
Whatever Moutain West’s motives, it represents a rough and abrupt shift in tone. Just a few months earlier, Nevarez had strutted Houston’s NRG Stadium in a bright red blazer during the Final 4 finals to the national media, praising the Mountain West team for becoming the first team to make it past the Suite 16.
“We’re super excited, especially in the Mountain West office, because we’re so good at basketball,” Nevarez told the Associated Press in Houston. It is.” “We couldn’t be happier for San Diego State University.
“This is the biggest national stage, not just in college basketball, but in many other sports.
At Football Media Day last July, former Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson was questioned about the possibility of SDSU being swallowed up by the Pac-12 in the next wave of conference restructuring.
“I hope they don’t leave,” said Thompson. “They are a great addition to the league and a huge market for us. Thank you for your time, but you have a great opportunity. “
#Mountain #West #San #Diego #State #withdraws #conference #obliged #pay #exit #fee