The Mountain West Conference was set to balance the departure of Utah, BYU, and TCU with the addition of Boise State, Fresno State, and Nevada to the conference ranks, but at least one of those newcomers may not even have Division I status by the move-in date: A $1.5 million budget cut to the athletic department, triple the expected reduction, is putting the Wolf Pack in danger of being unable to fund the necessary amounts of sports and scholarships required to field a D-I program:
While the cuts are only projections at this moment, [Nevada AD Cary] Groth said the department is moving forward with the assumption that they will be minus $1.5 million in state funds in 2011-12.
"We have to prepare as if it is going to happen," Groth said. "We were originally told that it would be a half a million dollar cut, but when the figures came out it was $1.5 million. We're hoping it doesn't come to that, but we have to prepare as if it will be."
Currently operating in the flailing WAC, Nevada is scheduled to hop to the MWC for the 2012 season. For fans of Chris Ault's wackadoodle Pistol offense, this is grim news, but all may not be lost: We hear Colin Kaepernick's NFL draft stock is pretty respectable these days; perhaps if a lockout is avoided, he can float his alma mater some cash.