While Boise State made its intentions to withdraw from the Mountain West clear at the end of June, there was still the question of where their non-football programs would land.
The Mountain West picked apart the WAC, leaving what was supposed to be the Broncos’ non-football home on life support (and that’s being kind).
And while the Big West accepted San Diego State’s non-football programs after the Aztecs placed their football in the Big East, there was hesitation on the part of the Big West powers that be to invite Boise State with travel concerns being one of the reasons.
Thanks to the art of negotiation (and money) the Broncos are headed back to the Big West as reported by Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com, which they were a member of from 1996 to 2001.
“The Big West Conference welcomes an established, nationally recognized institution in Boise State at a time of unprecedented growth for its members,” said Long Beach State University President Dr. F. King Alexander, Chair of the Big West Board of Directors, in the conference release.
“We look forward to BSU contributing to the conference’s national standing as it continues to evolve.”
And while the money that Boise State is paying to the Big West ($2.5 million entry fee to be paid in five annual payments, and $750,000 per year for the travel of the other members) seems like a lot, they’re receiving substantial financial help from the Big East.
The Big East will pay half of the Broncos’ travel fees due to the Big West in each of the first two years of the deal. Oh, there’s also this tidbit:
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“We are truly excited by the prospects of competition and collaboration with all these new partners both athletically and academically,” said Boise State president Bob Kustra.
“The Big West will be an outstanding home for the majority of our intercollegiate sports and will provide great opportunities for our student-athletes.”
So what does this mean for Leon Rice’s basketball program, which is coming off of a 13-17 campaign?
From a recruiting standpoint the Broncos are going to have to spend a lot more time in California, given the fact that nine of the eleven schools will be located in that state once they join in 2013 (Pacific is leaving to join the WCC).
Currently the Broncos have just one California native on their roster, 6-9 junior forward Ryan Watkins.
But from an on-court standpoint Boise State could be ready to hit the ground running in 2013-14.
Of their top six scorers from last season, just one (redshirt senior center Kenny Buckner) will have exhausted his eligibility when the Broncos enter the Big West.
Anthony Drmic (12.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Derrick Marks (9.4 ppg) are both sophomores this season while Watkins (6.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and Thomas Bropleh (7.0 ppg) are entering their junior campaigns.