Fresno, Nevada, WAC exit deal near?

October 26th, 2010
By

If you step back and take the emotion out of it, is the reported deal between the WAC and Fresno State and Nevada fair?

According to the report from ESPN 1430 in Fresno, the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack will play football in the WAC for one more season, but the schools’ other sports teams will leave for the Mountain West after this school year. And instead of the $5 million exit fee, each school will pay the WAC $1 million.

I spoke with WAC commissioner Karl Benson and UH athletic director Jim Donovan after the report, as did Ferd Lewis and Stephen Tsai.

Benson said the report is “inaccurate” and a settlement had not been reached as of today (Tuesday). Donovan said the WAC board will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) and hopefully come to a resolution.

It does appear that Fresno and Nevada will at least remain in the WAC for football next year. We’re not sure about the other sports yet, or what the negotiated amount of the exit fee will be when all is said and done.

The best that can be hoped for is something to be done tomorrow. This will just be a big mess if it ends up in court.

33 Responses to “Fresno, Nevada, WAC exit deal near?”

  1. Warrior Dave:

    Dave,

    The only problem I have with the above reference agreement is on the dollars each school has to pay. Since all teams signed/verbally agreed to the exit fee of $5 million, the compromise should have been for $2.5 million each. The million dollar figure is too small. In retrospect, if both FSU and Nevada stood firm, BYU would have given all WAC team a name recognition opponent every year. With BYU and Utah’s departure from the MWC, I think Boise St would have had second thoughts, expecially with TCU’s expected departure. The rumour of UNLV and SDSU crossing back to the WAC was good possibility.

    As it stands now, the MWC next year is comprobable to the current WAC.

    Commish Benson fails us again…Interesting to find out when his plan is regarding expansion. Will he be able to poach D-1 teams from another conference?


  2. Paco:

    In my opinion I think keeping them in the conference for one more year is more important than any penalty. Don’t get me wrong, I think they should pay a penalty since they did agree to it. But as a compromise I think a lower penalty fee for having them stay in for 2011 is okay. Yes, I agree, keeping it out of court will benefit all parties.


  3. hawnpunch:

    I don’t see what the problem is in collecting the full amount. If the conference has a written/verbal agreement they should enforce it. They should be made to stay and pay.


  4. kev-1:

    How is that a compromise? It sounds to me like the WAC is just giving in on the $5 million clause. Fresno and Nevada are not giving us an extra season in the WAC. They were already tied to the conference for next season anyway. AND they get out of paying 4 of the 5 million? Sounds like a fair deal . . . for them. A true compromise would be if they didn’t have to play football in the WAC next year but offered to do so in return for not paying 4 of the 5 million.


  5. kev-1:

    Playing in the conference for one more year is not a penalty. It is a stipulation of a previous policy/contract. It’s like a student telling a teacher “okay, I’ll turn in my homework, and you give me extra credit.” Why should there be a reward for something that was already required?


  6. Dave Reardon:

    Official statement from Jim Donovan today: “From my understanding, the WAC CEO’s have a conference call tomorrow afternoon Hawaii time and a decision maybe made at that time. Until the conference call is concluded, there is really nothing else to add.”


  7. Dave Reardon:

    hawnpunch and kev … remember, there are some claims that could cause the WAC problems in court: 1. Nevada’s claim that it never signed the loyalty agreement. 2. Claim of contradictory information of when WAC was supposed to be told of schools’ intention to depart. 3. Claim that when BYU did not join the WAC everything became null and void.
    Would any or all of these hold up in court? I don’t know. Do you?
    Would you rather UH and the rest of the WAC leftovers got some money now, or hope that more money would come later IF the court ruled in its favor?


  8. hawnpunch:

    Has anyone asked the commissioner about these issues? What about an attorney regarding legal action?


  9. Manoa Mist:

    Yup I hear the WAC bylaws don’t match the departing agreement or something like that. Is anyone surprised? Did you think Benson just suddenly became “The Whiz?” overnight?
    Once and for all, let’s hightail it out of Dodge City partner. We got no need to start playing no name Texas schools or little patoots like Seattle and Denver. We send the Wahine all the way to Louisiana for what? For 400 peeps to watch the show? Lose money like that.
    And we need to say what we plan to do, and soon. What recruit would come to Hawaii when they don’t know what conference or what kind of competition they would be facing. Let’s man up and move confidently in the direction of our dreams.
    The WAC? That ain’t a dream, that is a nightmare.


  10. satch:

    Karl Benson is a buffoon who commands no respect which is the reason why the WAC is as it is under his watch esp. now that the Presidents of Nevada and Fresno St. did what they did as they have no respect for the WAC Commissioner. He has made a mockery of everything he has done and if he thinks or even if Jim Donavan thinks by bringing in those high school teams from Texas into the conference will appease local fans, forget it. Who the hell is going to pay premium prices much less buy season tickets to see UH play a Texas school or some other DIV. 2 school….ABSURB!!


  11. protector:

    It’s galling to me if the reports are accurate. And why only Football? Basketball, Volleyball, Baseball (the other money-making sports) should also be maintained. Now UH has to scramble
    to re-schedule other teams to replace these jerks. DR has a point that maybe it’s better to settle for a “bird in the hand” in regard to the 2 million dollar total. It still sticks in my craw if that’s the best they can get.


  12. cocobean:

    Satch, I’ll renew my season tickets for football and basketball as long as I’m physically able to attend. The defectors have delivered a devastating sucker punch to all UH sports. Fan apathy
    will be the knockout punch.


  13. Truth:

    Benson is a slimey little weasel who has been outfoxed by BYU and is totally to blame for the mess the WAC is in. Why haven’t the WAC presidents gotten wise to the years of incompetence demonstrated by this fool. Have you ever heard him try to put a coherent sentence or thought together? Get rid of this tool!!!


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