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WAC disputes settlement with Fresno State, Nevada

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:24 p.m. HST, Oct 26, 2010

The Western Athletic Conference is refuting a radio report that the league has settled its dispute with two breakaway members, Fresno State and Nevada.

A Fresno, Calif., radio station reported today that the WAC reached a settlement with Fresno State and Nevada, whereby the schools' football programs will play one more season in the WAC while their other sports will join the Mountain West Conference next season.

According to the report on ESPN 1430 in Fresno, Nevada and Fresno State will pay $1 million each as part of exit fee.

A WAC official said the report was inaccurate.

"From my understanding, the WAC CEO's have a conference call tomorrow afternoon Hawaii time and a decision maybe made at that time," UH athletic director Jim Donovan said. "Until the conference call is concluded, there is really nothing else to add."

The two schools were originally asked to pay disputed $5 million departure fees for their impending move to the Mountain West Conference.

The six remaining members of the WAC — Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State — have been at odds with Fresno State and Nevada since Aug. 18, when the defectors announced their intention to leave for the MWC for the 2011-12 season.

The remaining WAC has maintained that, under its bylaws, they could not leave before June 30, 2012, because they had failed to announce the departure by July 1, 2010.

Boise State had announced its departure to the MWC before the deadline.

The WAC filed suit against Fresno State and Nevada in Colorado, asking that the two schools remain through 2012, citing scheduling hardships caused by a premature departure.

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