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‘Aztecs-Mountain West War”==========
Months after they celebrated the greatest moment in Aztecs Athletic history, the game in the NCAA-March Madness tournament, SDSU is facing a massive crisis, not of their own doing.
Athletic Director JD Wicker is trying to preserve the financial integrity of his Department, where money is so important to keep all the Red & Black athletic programs afloat. SDSU is indeed a mid major with huge financial limitations.
The Mountain West Conference is trying to preserve the foundation of its conference, keeping it from collapsing with a possible defection of SDSU to the Pac 12-Conference or the Big 12, as the shuffling of schools in major conferences continues.
Now there is a collision at the intersection of reality and integrity.
San Diego State is caught between a rock and the hard place. They are waiting to see if the Pac 12 goes ahead and expands, adding two schools, to replace the departing USC and UCLA-headed to the Big 10
The PAC 12 is in scramble mode, trying to keep its core schools in the league, Oregon-Washington-Arizona and Arizona State. They need as many big names as possible to get the best new TV deal they can, one that could provide each school 37M-a year in Media rights. That’s a lifeline for everyone’s athletic department.
They can’t expand until their schools agree to the ‘Grant of Deed’ that means the schools are staying as part of the TV extension. Then they have to sign the TV deal. And then they decide whether SDSU-SMU are the two teams they add to replace the Trojans-Bruins.
The Aztecs are jammed by the calendar. They had to inform the Mountain West by June 30th if they were planning to leave at the end of the 2023-24 schedule, next spring. The exit fee is 17M. If they elect to move in mid summer or if an offer is made next fall, the exit fee goes to 34M, cost prohibitive.
SDSU sent a letter of inquiry to the league asking for an extension till July 30th when they have to make a decision on leaving. They asked if they can pay the exit fees in installments over a couple of years.
The MWC response has been shocking. They took the letter, ignored the word inquiry, and invoked procedures to expel SDSU from the league. They removed President de la Torre from the MWC Board of Governors. They began procedures to remove SDSU from revenue sharing. They seized a 6M-payment due this month to SDSU, money already earned by the Aztecs.
The Aztecs have an issue. Forced by this June 30th date, what happens if they exit and then don’t get an invite to the Pac 12? What happens if they stay and elect a year from today to exit if there is an offer by the Pac 12 for 2024-25?
How can they operate without the 6M-revenue the MWC is pulling?
The MWC has a huge credibility problem. Why would you treat the ‘Flagship University’ in your conference this way? Why do this to an SDSU program that has generated 10M in NCAA Tournament money for the league office? Why act this way when you looked at the entire college road map and have seen so many schools change conferences in the last five years alone? Why be so vindictive?
My heart says a quality program does not deserve this bums-rush by the league’s office. It’s a proud honorable program, not just atop the football and basketball standings, but also at the top of the APR-Academic rolls in the league too for GPA and graduation.
My head says this is the business college model athletic programs and conferences have had to adjust too. The MWC TV deals pays its schools 3M-per year. A money troubled state school is going to turn down an opportunity to go to a prestigious conference and receive a Pac 12-check of 37M per year share of revenues? A move that has to be made.
Sure it hurts the MWC to lose all the good things SDSU represents, but State has earned this opportunity to move up. Why would the MWC act with so much hostility, towards a Group of 5-school that has done everything right, from athletic facilities to academic accomplishment.
The MWC has a credibility issue for its vindictiveness. They should grant SDSU the extension. They should work an installment payment plan, so both the school can handle things financially and and the league still gets its money. They should give State the same window of June 30th, 2024 allowing them to have this opportunity a year from now if there are delays. There is nothing wrong with charging them 17M a year from now insteady of their double penalty.
I didn’t see the Pac 12 try to inhibit, block or hurt USC or UCLA. The Big 12-facing catastrophe, worked out deals for Oklahoma and Texas to move. Nobody tried to damage Penn State back in the day when they vadated the Big East to go to the Big 10, the first dominoe to fall on the college landscape..
The MWC should show some class and resolve this. Its classy flagship school , the Aztecs deserve better treatment..