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Tug of war looms over defectors’ departures

The Western Athletic Conference and departing members Fresno State and Nevada are apparently headed for a showdown on when their separation will take place.

Yesterday, Nevada reiterated, "We plan to be in the Mountain West Conference for the 2011-12 (academic) year," said Jane Tors, special assistant to Nevada president Milton Glick, in a statement.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson reaffirmed his conference’s stance that, "They are bound to the WAC until June 30, 2012."

Benson said WAC bylaws require a member to announce its intention to leave by July 1 of the year preceding its departure. For example, Boise announced on June 11 its intention to compete in the Mountain West in 2011-’12 and will play 2010-11 as its final WAC season.

Since Nevada and Fresno State did not make their announcements until Aug. 18, Benson said they are bound to the WAC through the conclusion of the 2011-12 academic year.

Benson said, however, that a negotiated settlement could relieve them of that obligation. Benson said such a deal would only be made "if it is in the WAC’s best interests."

But Benson said, "At this point there have been no discussions" about an early departure.


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