San Diego State tells Mountain West it wants to resign in letter: Source

By Stewart Mandel, Chris Vannini, Nicole Auerbach, and Max Olson

San Diego State said in a letter to the Mountain West on Tuesday that it intends to resign from the conference, a source confirmed. AthleticThe expectation is to join the Power 5 conference, widely considered the Pac-12.

The school has sought a one-month extension before issuing an official notification as the deadline for issuing the 2024 departure notice approaches June 30. After June 30, its exit fee for a 2024 exit will double from about $17 million to about $34 million.

The Pac-12’s negotiations for a new media rights deal have dragged on longer than expected and may not be concluded by the end of the month. Pac-12 commissioner George Gliavkoff and other league officials have repeatedly said they won’t extend invitations to expand until the next contract’s revenue numbers are finalized.

A source briefed on the matter said it was unclear why Mountain West would agree to extend the small exit fee.

A source close to the exchange said the intent behind San Diego State’s initial letter was not to officially withdraw from the Mountain West, but that the Mountain West took it as such. The SDSU letter was sent to all of the league’s university presidents, which quickly increased the duration of the exchange.

The league responded and said it accepted the school’s opt-out letter to SDSU, essentially triggering the consequences of such a move. That, in turn, led to a third letter sent by SDSU to clarify that this was not an official withdrawal, but rather a process to ask questions about the purchase terms and request a one-month extension. The school has asked for more of its share of the league’s annual revenue share, which it is due to receive in the coming weeks. That amount is expected to be $6 million per school limit and would have been a significant financial penalty by convention.

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A source involved in the correspondence said that as June 30 approaches, San Diego State will wait for the Power 5 call and try to do its due diligence to establish its options moving forward with confidence.

Why the Pac-12 might be a good fit

With USC and UCLA leaving for the Big Ten in 2024, San Diego State has long been considered the Pac-12’s most obvious expansion candidate, although Kliavkoff visited SMU in February. The Aztecs’ men’s basketball program reached its first national championship game in April. Their football program has posted five double-digit win seasons since 2015 and reached three Mountain West title games, winning two.

The Pac-12 is facing pressure to reach a deal with ESPN and Fox comparable to the Big 12’s upcoming expansion. as Athletic As previously reported, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark has been in contact with Pac-12 members Colorado and Arizona in particular, though officials at both schools reiterated that they are waiting to see the final numbers on the Pac-12’s contracts.

Why is the Big 12 so low?

San Diego State has had several conversations with the Big 12 in recent months, two conference sources said, but the feeling on both sides, at least initially, is that the Aztecs’ preference is to move to the Pac-12 if they get it. Call for it. The Aztecs have been on the Big 12’s expansion radar, but multiple conference sources say the school is not a priority for the Big 12 at this time.

Yormark has been pursuing Pac-12 schools since last summer, and the conference has held talks with basketball-oriented schools like UConn and Gonzaga to explore whether it should expand to a 14- or 16-member league. From a revenue standpoint, the Big 12 needs the support of both its TV partners ESPN and Fox to add non-Power 5 schools as full-share members.

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