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Mountain West Conference decides on 8-game schedule

By Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 3:48 p.m. HST, Jun 7, 2011

The Mountain West Conference will play an 8-game football schedule starting in 2012 and beyond; and set a penalty of $5 million or more for schools leaving the conference, the league announced today at its annual meeting in La Jolla, Calif.

The MWC will play a seven-game football schedule in 2011 and then go to eight games in 2012 as a 10-member conference when Hawaii, Fresno State and Nevada join and Texas Christian University departs.

The MWC established an eight-game schedule for 2012 through 2013, but had debated playing a nine-game schedule for 2014 and beyond. Some schools, such as the Air Force Academy, strongly favored eight games because it would allow them to play an extra non-conference game.

UH has said it could live with either an eight- or nine-game schedule.

Effective this month the MWC said it has added to its bylaws a resignation clause that imposes differing penalties depending upon when a member school declares its intention to leave. Members who declare their intention before the June 30 preceding the year of withdrawal shall forfeit the final year of revenue. Members who give notice after the established June 30 notice date, will forfeit the final year of revenue plus pay a sum of $5 million or pay double the amount of the final year's revenue, whichever is greater.

The contract of commissioner Craig Thompson was also extended through June 30, 2015.

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