Boise State Accepts Invitation to Join Big West

BOISE – President Bob Kustra announced today Boise State University has accepted an invitation from the Big West Conference to join the league starting July 1, 2013.

The Broncos will participate in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field and women’s volleyball.

Boise State has been in the process of finding a more stable conference for the majority of its non-football programs since it was announced last year the football team would be joining the Big East Conference in 2013 and that it would be unable to keep its remaining intercollegiate teams in the Mountain West Conference.

“Boise State’s membership in the Big West Conference complements our Big East Conference football presence and reflects our emerging coast-to-coast profile,” Boise State President Bob Kustra stated.  “We are truly excited by the prospects of competition and collaboration with all these new partners both athletically and academically.  The Big West will be an outstanding home for the majority of our intercollegiate sports and will provide great opportunities for our student-athletes.”

“The additions of Hawai‘i, San Diego State and now Boise State have presented opportunities for the Big West Conference to further grow its national profile,” said Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell. “The establishment of the Big West Basketball Tournament at Anaheim’s Honda Center, heightened television exposure and a fortified group of members have positioned the Conference for continued success moving forward.”

Boise State’s entry fee to join the Big West is $2.5 million which will be paid in five annual payments.  In addition, Boise State will also pay a travel cost per conference visiting team for regular season competitions in Boise at an estimated cost of $750,000 per year, an equity share into the league’s reserve to be determined at a later date and a one-time membership initiation fee estimated at $50,000.

Current schools in the Big West include Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, Hawai’i and Pacific. 
Pacific will leave the Big West following the 2012-13 season and join the West Coast Conference.

Like Boise State, San Diego State will join the Big West in 2013 for the majority of its non-football sports.  San Diego State’s football team is joining the Big East with Boise State prior to the 2013 season.

“We are excited about our future membership in the Big West Conference and feel this will be a great fit for our program,” Bronco Director of Athletics Mark Coyle commented.  “The Big West is a highly-respected conference with excellent leadership, led by Commissioner Dennis Farrell.  The league will provide a competitive environment for our teams participating in the Big West.”

The Bronco women’s gymnastics team is scheduled to compete in the Western Athletic Conference starting next season and the wrestling team will continue its longtime affiliation in the Pacific-12 Conference.  Conference affiliation for the Bronco women’s swimming and diving team and the men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams has yet to be determined.

Boise State was a member of the Big West for all sports, including football, from July 1, 1996 to June 30, 2001.  Boise State joined the WAC on July 1, 2001 and was a member of that league for 10 years before joining the Mountain West on July 1, 2011.

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