Fresno State, Nevada join Boise State in MWC

TRENT LOOTENS/THE ARBITER - Fresno State and Nevada have officially been offered invitations to join the Mountain West Conference.

TRENT LOOTENS/THE ARBITER - Fresno State and Nevada have officially been offered invitations to join the Mountain West Conference.

8:45 p.m. – Nevada and Fresno State released a statement┬áconfirming they would accept the Mountain West Conference’s invitation, joining Boise State as defectors from the Western Athletic Conference.

This move comes after BYU was reported to be considering independence from the MWC in football and moving its other athletic programs to the WAC. The move leaves the WAC with only six teams for the next one to two years.

WAC Commissioner Karl Benson will address the issue in a conference call tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. MST.

5:56 P.M. – The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that BYU’s independence in football is a done deal. The story also states it will join the WAC in all remaining sports. Is the carnage finally over?

5:51 P.M. – BYU seems to be stuck in the middle of the WAC-MWC crossfire. With Fresno State having already accepted and Nevada on the verge of accepting the MWC bid, will BYU decide to stay in the MWC? The WAC will be completely decimated if both schools leave and BYU will have no incentive to join.

5:25 P.M. – The Fresno Bee is reporting the Bulldogs will accept the invitation to join the MWC. Nothing concrete on Nevada or BYU yet. Fresno AD schedules press conference in the next few hours. The Reno Gazette-Journal is reporting Nevada did not sign the 5-year deal with the WAC.

4:30 P.M. – Several reports are coming out of multiple sources within the Mountain West Conference and the Western Athletic Conference indicating the MWC has just invited Nevada and Fresno State to join the conference.

This comes after several reports began surfacing earlier this week about BYU declaring its independence in football and sending the rest of its sports to the WAC.

ESPN.com broke the news about the latest conference shift in college football and is continuing to pour in information as it’s received.

USA Today and the MWC’s Twitter account is reporting the same information.

Also, there are several rumors flying around indicating the WAC is trying to court San Diego State and UNLV to its conference. It appears the MWC and the WAC are exchanging blows to place themselves as the leaders to get Boise State.

This move could be costly for Fresno State and Nevada because after BSU left the WAC made all remaining schools sign a five-year agreement that would force leaving members to pay a $5 million buyout, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

Nevada has acknowledged the invitation.

“We are honored to have received the invitation to join the Mountain West Conference. We are seriously considering the invitation, and do so with the best interests of our athletics program, University, community and Wolf Pack fans as our priority,” University of Nevada President Milt Glick released in a statement.

Keep checking back at arbiteronline.com for the latest updates concerning conference expansion.

About the author  ⁄ Trent Lootens

Trent is the sports producer at The Arbiter