After the San Diego Tribune first broke the news last week about Gonzaga’s (and to a lesser extent BYU’s) discussions with the Mountain West, more details have come out about the potential movement.
Mark Zeigler of The San Diego tribune is reporting once again that Gonzaga is deep in discussions with the Mountain West, and a vote among the Mountain West presidents concerning Gonzaga’s inclusion is expected to happen in “early April.”
Concerning BYU, Zeigler said the following:
The Mountain West is exclusively talking with Gonzaga and trying to finalize that deal. Only then might it approach BYU, or vice versa.
If Gonzaga is willing to go without BYU, which appears to be the case, the MWC may elect to play hardball and only accept BYU if it brings all of its sports teams, not just basketball and other non-football sports. Zeigler speculates that the MWC may tell BYU that it’s all or nothing.
BYU will need to make a decision if Gonzaga bolts. in the short-term, BYU would have a clearer path to an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. However, BYU would lose significant money by not having the Zags in its conference. Each conference member receives roughly $250,000 for each game a member of its conference plays in the NCAA tournament; BYU received about 1.6 million dollars because of GU’s 2017 run to the championship game. Without Gonzaga, BYU would lose a big chunk of money.
The WCC would also lose luster without a top 10 college basketball team like Gonzaga, something that could impact BYU’s recruiting ability over time.
Where does BYU go if Gonzaga bolts?
Well, it seems that there are a few realistic options.
- The MWC lets BYU stay independent in football and move the rest of its sports to the MWC.
- BYU moves all sports to the MWC.
- BYU keeps the status quo and stays in the WCC and independent in football.
- BYU moves to the AAC (maybe they could convince Gonzaga and Boise to come, too?)
We’ll keep you updated on any other developments.
You can read the whole report from the San Diego Tribune here.