Conference USA, MWC merger reportedly on hold

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The Conference USA-Mountain West merger is a mess. At this point, it’s just as likely not to happen.

A report from Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com (via our friends at CFT) indicates the leagues are moving from the initial idea of dissolving, then reforming as one league – to nullify current TV deals and maximize media revenue – to either merging without the dissolve, or simply staying as separate leagues.

“Both are still viable,” a source told McMurphy. “There’s really no clubhouse leader.”

Myriad factors remain in the deal, including revenue questions, numbers of schools involved, etc. Merging would create a league in 2013 that would include 16 schools:  East Carolina, Marshall, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB and Texas-El Paso (all from C-USA) and Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming (from the MWC). Hawaii would be a football-only member.

The leagues have divided into subgroups to discuss the options. At this rate, it’ll serve as more realignment drama for the summer.

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