Statement from Dr. Kustra on Big East Affiliation

Boise State University President Bob Kustra made the following remarks to the Idaho State Board of Education on Nov. 3 before the members approved the motion that gave authority to make the final decision as to whether it is in the best interests of the university to accept an invitation to the Big East Conference as a football only member and to another conference for the university's remaining intercollegiate sports.

Remarks of Boise State President Bob Kustra

"As we have informed you and the media has reported, we've been in discussions over the past few weeks with the Big East Conference, regarding the possibility of our joining their conference for football only, beginning in July 2013.

"It was not long ago that I came to you regarding a move to the Mountain West Conference. Unfortunately, and through no fault of Mountain West schools or conference leadership, it is simply not the same conference that we first agreed to join. The loss of Utah, BYU, and TCU, and now, potentially Air Force, dealt a blow to the quality of conference competition and their chances of achieving Automatic Qualifying status in the next BCS evaluation. So my hope for a competitive and compact geographic conference has been dashed on the hard facts of media dollars and BCS membership. And so too will it be for us.

"Given the opportunities that the Big East conference affords us, not only in increased revenues and BCS status, but also to be in the company of outstanding universities, with long histories, outstanding academics, and large fan bases, we are honored to be under consideration for membership. Without question, we are being afforded this opportunity because of the incredible work and success of our nationally ranked Top 10 football program. As president, I take very seriously the responsibility to respond to the opportunities this program has afforded us. It will be good not only for Athletics, but also for the entire University, to forge new relationships with these outstanding institutions. I am always concerned about travel, for our student-athletes, coaches and our fans. The good news is that the Big East is working to provide us partners through the creation of a Western division.  Conference play will be among those divisions, with a championship between East and West.

"I have promised throughout this process that the University would conduct a rigorous due diligence process. We have done so, through in-person meetings, countless telephone conversations, careful analysis of options, and, currently, a review and analysis of term of membership and apportionment of revenues. There is no way to know the amount of revenue that will be realized under a new Big East media contract. Under the current Big East contract, the revenue would nearly triple the amount we now receive from the Mountain West, but the Big East contract is due for renegotiation in 2012 and knowledgeable sources universally point to  significantly increased conference media revenue in the upcoming contract. No guarantees, but a very strong likelihood, in my judgment.

"There have been no formal invitations, but today I seek your authority to make the decision once an invite is extended, and also to make the decision regarding the conference in which basketball and our other Olympic sports will be located. Both decisions are critically important to the future of the University and its athletic programs."

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