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San Diego State spurns Big East for Mountan West

The SportsXchange

San Diego State is staying in the Mountain West Conference.

After the school announced last year that it would leave the Mountain West to join the Big East as a football-playing member for the 2013-14 season, the Aztecs have backtracked on the move.

The Mountain West reinstated San Diego State as an all-sports member Wednesday. The Aztecs planned to join the Big West for all other sports but football.

San Diego State president Dr. Elliot Hirshman said in statement released by the school and the conference: "We are excited about the opportunities our partnership provides for the development of the conference and San Diego State University's athletic programs."

MWC commissioner Craig Thompson added in a statement, "With today's announcement, SDSU's membership continues uninterrupted and helps the Mountain West maintain a solid foundation going forward. The Aztecs remain a perfect fit geographically and provide the Conference with a highly-competitive athletics program."

Boise State also was set to join the Big East but backed out in late December and decided to remain in the Mountain West. It had to pay an exit fee, but San Diego State won't be required to do the same because of an escape clause that allowed the Aztecs to opt out if Boise State or another team west of the Rockies didn't join the Big East.

With Boise State and San Diego State staying in the fold, the Mountain West would have 12 football teams for next season. Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State and Wyoming are the others. Hawaii is a member of the Big West for all sports other than football.

The Big East has taken a hit in conference realignment but expects to have 10 teams in 2013 unless more defections take place. The conference's seven Catholic schools -- St. John's, Villanova, DePaul, Providence, Georgetown, Marquette and Seton Hall -- plan to leave, likely to form the nucleus of a new conference.
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