The Mountain West Conference sent an additional letter to San Diego State on Friday, informing the school that “at this time” the conference will not approve any exceptions the school had requested last week when it gave notice that it intends to resign from the conference, sources told ESPN’s Pete Thamel on Monday.
San Diego State had requested a “one-month extension given unforeseen delays involving other collegiate athletic conferences beyond our control,” plus a reduced exit fee or the ability to pay the exit fee in installments.
The Mountain West letter Friday was in response to SDSU’s assertion that it had not given formal notice of withdrawal. The conference also said it did not accept the school’s claim that it had not given formal notice of resignation.
San Diego State would need to give a year’s notice to withdraw next June, and the exit fee would be due then. If it waits past June 30, the exit fee it would owe jumps from nearly $16.5 million to nearly $34 million.
As of now, there does not appear to be an invitation to San Diego State from a Power 5 conference, although SDSU has long been linked to the Pac-12 and the school has been part of the Big 12’s realignment exploration.
San Diego State is attempting to explore all options if the Pac-12 doesn’t get a TV deal done by June 30, a source said last week.
“SDSU is exploring all of the options and asking all the questions,” a source said. “The intention of the June 13 letter wasn’t that San Diego State is exiting.”
San Diego State has been in the Mountain West since 1999 and is arguably its top overall athletic department. SDSU reached the NCAA tournament title game in men’s basketball this year, and the football program has a new $300 million stadium. The football Aztecs have won 10 or more games five times since 2015.
With USC and UCLA moving to the Big Ten in 2024, San Diego State’s allure has increased for leagues, as the school offers a toehold in the Southern California market.