San Diego State and the Big East began discussions last week about the Aztecs joining the league as a football-only member, but don’t expect the Aztecs to make a decision anytime soon.
Meanwhile BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said Monday night the Cougars never had an invitation to the Big 12 and the school is “at an impasse (with the Big East) and not able to move any further.”
College football industry sources said San Diego State officials informed the Big East it will need some time before determining whether to join the league as a football-only member.
“They might not be in a hurry,” a source said.
The Big East is looking at San Diego State as a football-only member after the Big East decided to “move on” from negotiations with the Cougars after BYU wanted to retain its television rights for its home football games.
Sources said San Diego State “is still very excited about the opportunity” to join the Big East, but estimated it could take anywhere from “two to three weeks” to “a few months.”
The Big East is pursuing the Aztecs because Boise State has said it wants a guarantee of a Western partner before joining the league.
UCF, Houston and SMU are prepared to join the league but want to join in a group with Boise State. So those three schools are waiting on Boise State while the Broncos are waiting on a Western partner – either San Diego State or Air Force – and Navy is waiting until those other schools join before it commits.
BYU began discussions with the Big East after the Big 12 “decided to go in a different direction,” Holmoe said Monday night on BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall’s radio show.
“At this time things have slowed down (with the Big East),” Holmoe said. “I think it’s apparent.”
Holmoe said BYU and the Big East were able to go through a number of issues very quickly.
“But there were some uncertainties when it got to the end," he said. "Some television issues, and other issues. We are at an impasse and couldn’t go any further.
“They were eager to make this happen, to get BYU on board. We weren’t ready to do this. We gave them a proposal – I’m not sure exactly how it got out – we could do that, we could sign on right now if there were TV rights for our home games. But that would have been certain; we would have known exactly what we were getting into.
“We tried to come up with a possible solution, once we reached an impasse.”Holmoe also said BYU never had any television discussions with the Big 12.
“We didn’t get too far down the road (with the Big 12),” Holmoe said.
Even though, the Cougars left the Mountain West last season to become an independent in football, Holmoe and Mendenhall both said the school sounded eager to join a conference.
“We’re continuing looking for conference affiliation if it were to come along, we’re not hanging posters on conference doors,” Holmoe said. “We’re going to keep our eyes open.”
Mendenhall added that “at some point, some one in a conference will say that’s a ‘very unique brand that wins a lot of football games that has a worldwide following and has tremendous assets and we want them.’ ”
A source told CBSSports.com last week that the Big East had “moved on” and was no longer pursuing BYU as a football member.
“The Big East, I respect them so much,” Holmoe said. “I’m not in position to tell them where things are.”