It seems as if the conference realignment rumors have officially been laid to rest.
Boise State President Bob Kustra announced today, Dec. 31, that Boise State will not move to the Big East and have decided to remain in the Mountain West. The Broncos were scheduled to join the conference on July 1, 2013 for football and the Big West for non-football sports.
“Without question, conference affiliation has been an odyssey for Boise State, with all the unexpected turns and changes that term suggests,” Kustra said in a statement. “The benefits of geographic footprint, revenue, and national exposure have to be balanced against the changing circumstances of conference realignment. I am confident that our Mountain West membership is the very best decision for Boise State University, our student-athletes and our incredible fan base.”
The key to Boise State’s stay in the Mountain West was home television rights for football games. In its new agreement, Boise State will be ensured that home games are not part of any current or future Mountain West television rights contract. This is crucial as television rights had been made the biggest push for the Broncos to initially join the Big East.
The league guaranteed that Boise State home television rights can be sold as a separate package. Boise State, along with other Mountain West schools, who appear on national television (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN and ESPN 2) will be paid a bonus of $300,000 per game and an extra $200,000 if it is a Saturday game.
Another provision is that the conference will honor Boise State’s non-conference schedule commitments and will not regulate the Broncos’ home uniform colors, specifically the ability to wear blue uniforms on the blue turf at Bronco Stadium.
“I commend the effort Dr. Kustra and Mark (Coyle) have put forth in making sure the Bronco football program continues to grow at the national level,” said Boise State Head Football Coach Chris Petersen. “As I’ve stated many times, I have had the utmost trust that the university would make the right decision in what is best for Bronco football and all our sports at Boise State. This innovative proposal to get football the maximum exposure on national television will be a tremendous boost to our program as we continue to grow the Bronco brand.”
Boise State’s exit fees from the Big East is $5 million, with provisions to lessen the total.