To Be or Not to Be
In October of 2011 Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference made a huge announcement. The two conferences had decided to dissolve and become one conference. Then in February of 2012 a decision was made to add a few more schools in an attempt to have a 24 team conference. Everything was full steam ahead for the 2013-2014 academic years.
On March 26th a report had surfaced from CBSSports that the deal was dying a quick death. On April 9th the merger looked like it was not going to happen. Why? The big bad NCAA stepped in. The NCAA began to threaten the two conferences with lost revenue if the merger took place. The schools leaving the two conferences would not have to pay exit fees to their respective conference. The NCAA also said that they would not pay the two conferences their money from being represented in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
Those two sanctions against the two conferences made some people stop and think. The one thing that brought on the whole idea of the merger was the lack of money and also survival. Conference USA quickly started to just find replacement teams such as Florida International and North Texas. The Mountain West was also scrambling to find replacement schools.
Just two days after the report came out the presidents of the universities involved said that no such decision had been made and that they were still going forward. However there are other reports that support the CBSSports claim. Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banokowsky said that all of the details will be ironed out by June, which is quickly approaching.
By Leigh Reese