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Originally published Monday, June 7, 2010 at 9:11 PM

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Mountain West Conference decides to hold off on expansion | College athletics

Presidents of Mountain West Conference schools decided Monday not to expand the nine-team conference at this time.

Presidents of Mountain West Conference schools decided Monday not to expand from nine teams at this time.

Commissioner Craig Thompson said the decision to hold off on expansion is tied to potential shake-ups in some of the nation's bigger conferences. Officials from the Big Ten, Pac-10 and Big 12 are considering adding schools or reorganizing.

Thompson said the Mountain West's decision is not final, and that the board might reconsider once the dust settles in other conferences.

"Due to the uncertainty in the intercollegiate landscape, the board did not make a decision to expand at the present time," Thompson said at the end of the board's annual meeting in Jackson, Wyo. "The Mountain West will continue to monitor developments ... and prepare for potential scenarios."

Boise State officials and fans had hoped to join the Mountain West and leave the Western Athletic Conference, which the Broncos have dominated for a decade in football. Moving to the Mountain West could have generated more revenue for the athletic department and given Boise State a clearer path to college football's biggest stage, the Bowl Championship Series.


• Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little urged her Nebraska counterpart to remain in the Big 12 and help avoid a potential calamity for the Jayhawks.

Gray-Little said she got no indication of what Harvey Perlman might recommend when he meets with Nebraska regents Friday. She said she also planned to call Missouri chancellor Brady J. Deaton with the same message.

Nebraska and Missouri have indicated they might be interested in moving to the Big Ten. If they leave, that might prompt six other Big 12 members, including Texas and Oklahoma, to consider linking with the Pac-10. The death of the Big 12 could leave Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State out of a major conference.

"There are some universities that survive and thrive without a large athletic program," said Gray-Little. "I hope we don't have to test that out."

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