In order to leave the WAC, Fresno State and Nevada will have to pay the conference a cool $5 million each. It's a price tag neither cash-strapped department can well afford, agreed upon after Boise State's defection. And it's a curiously-timed stipulation that, if "sources" are to be believed, has fat Cougar pawprints all over it:
The schools made the buyout move to keep other members from following the Broncos to the Mountain West. According to sources close to the situation, BYU wanted the buyout agreement reached to ensure the WAC would remain strong if the Cougars returned to the league in all sports but football.
God-dang, BYU. That is some craftiness, particularly coming on the heels of a season where Max Hall was made to apologize for using the vile epithet of "classless" after a rivalry game. Trés polite, no?
And how is SBN's Mountain West community coping with this stinger? Oh, about like this:
It would appear that BYU stabbed the MWC in the back long before stabbing the conference in the heart today. In a perfect world the MWC would like to add Fresno State and Nevada and move on.
Et tu, BYU? This betrayal will not be forgotten and just remember "karma is a b****!"
I'm never sure quite what asterisked words are supposed to mean, but rest assured: Rivalry games in the wild west just got a whole new kind of interesting.