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San Diego State tells Mountain West it is not exiting, an AP source says

KTVZ News Team

AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego State University informed the Mountain West on Friday that it is not withdrawing from the conference, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday due to the sensitivity of the situation.

SDSU faced a deadline of late Friday night to give a one-year notice of withdrawal without having its exit fee doubled from approximately $17 million to about $34 million.

The Aztecs hope to join either the Pac-12 or the Big 12 but have not received a formal invitation. Talk of SDSU potentially moving to the Pac-12 intensified after Southern California and UCLA announced last summer that they will move to the Big Ten in August 2024.

However, the Pac-12 isn’t expected to announce any expansion plans until it finalizes a TV contract, which isn’t expected until sometime in the summer.

San Diego State, a charter member of the Mountain West, didn’t immediately respond to a Public Records Act request for a copy of the letter it sent the Mountain West on Friday. It was the fifth letter in an exchange between the two parties.

On June 13, SDSU President Adela de la Torre sent a letter to the conference and its member schools “to formally notice” that the school “intends to resign” effective June 30 or at an agreed-upon later date, and asked for a one-month extension of the deadline due to ”unforeseen delays” involving other conferences.

Commissioner Gloria Nevarez responded that the league interpreted the letter as a notice of departure and that the league would withhold the school’s 2022-23 distribution, estimated at $6 million, and apply it toward the exit fee.

De la Torre responded that her first letter wasn’t an official notice of resignation. Nevarez replied that the league wouldn’t grant a waiver of the deadline and reserved the right to interpret SDSU’s first letter as a resignation.

San Diego State became the first Mountain West team to reach the men’s NCAA Tournament national championship game, and the school has pointed out that its run through March Madness will earn the league an estimated $10 million in distributions during the next six years, much of which the Aztecs wouldn’t share in if they moved to another conference.

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