DENVER - Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson announced today that Fresno State and the University of Nevada must pay $5 million each for failing to abide to a corporate resolution they both agreed to earlier this month that called for both to remain members of the WAC through June 30, 2016. Fresno State and Nevada announced on August 18 that they would join the Mountain West Conference. Both schools were notified on August 27 with a "demand for payment" letter and have 60 days from that date to make payment. The two schools are also required to compete in the WAC during the 2010-11 season and the 2011-12 season as neither school announced their decision to withdraw from the WAC prior to the June 30 deadline as required by WAC Bylaws. Both schools were also notified of this on August 27.
"The WAC fully expects to receive the $5 million from both Fresno State and Nevada and will take legal recourse if necessary to obtain the money," said Benson. "As for the termination date, WAC Bylaws make it very clear that Fresno State and Nevada must remain in the WAC through the 2011-12 season unless the WAC authorizes an 'early out.' Fresno State and Nevada leaving the WAC following the 2010-11 season would cause irreparable financial harm to the remaining WAC members in terms of football scheduling and potential loss of revenue from television and bowl games. The damages that Hawai'i, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State would incur could exceed as much as $2 million per school."