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Schools fleeing WAC fight for money

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The $1.09 million question in the Western Athletic Conference at the moment is who will get the spoils of Boise State’s departure from the league.

After some apparently heated debate yesterday, the WAC athletic directors punted the question into the hands of the conference’s Board of Directors for resolution next month.

At issue is whether the money Boise State forfeits by leaving for the Mountain West Conference will be divided among all eight remaining schools — or just the five that will stick around in 2012, when Hawaii, Fresno State and Nevada also depart.

At stake for UH, Fresno State and Nevada is approximately $136,250 each.

"There was much debate," said UH athletic director Jim Donovan, who attended the meetings in Phoenix. He declined to comment, further referring questions to commissioner Karl Benson.

Benson said, "I’m not going to speak to it. It is something that will be determined by the WAC Board of Directors."

It is WAC policy that departing members forfeit the disbursement check of pooled revenues (TV, tournaments, sponsorships etc.) from their final year in the conference, as UH, Fresno State and Nevada will in 2012.

But the schools that will remain after the departures apparently want to hold onto the Boise State money to help mitigate the loss in revenue from all four departures.

Meanwhile, UH, Fresno State and Nevada apparently contend they are entitled to the shares and will leave their own money on the table next year.

Today the WAC is scheduled to discuss possible expansion candidates.

Any recommendation would go to the directors next month for consideration.

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