I think it's twitter/X speculation by a group calked Sidelines Sports Network.
It's based on the proposed "schedule collaboration" which could become an eventual merger.
My take is that supposedly what makes the collaboration tolerable to the MWC is an agreement to proceed towards a full merger with the stipulation that IF the Pac-2 end up killing the merger and poaching teams the Pac-2 will pay the remaining MWC a stiff penalty.
If that's the case, there's still the option of poaching the top 5-7 MWC schools and a few others from other conferences, but it'll cost extra.
The Tribune article I linked earlier said the MWC could have gone the GOR route like the Pac 12 and a few other conferences, but it could lead to teams leaving for free at some point, so Thompson chose to write in high exit fees instead.
Now that is kind of vague depending on how you read it.
The. MWC bylaws have no mention of exit fees being tied to media contracts. Even that is kind of vague if ending exit fees each media deal is a "standard" thing. I'm not so sure how recent of a thing GOR agreements are, they could be kind of new.
So I got to searching for MWC Grant of Rights agreement. That came up with a lot of message board stuff from a couple years ago with lots of comments about those are new and nobody ever would sign a GOR in that conference... still very vague.
However, the Athletic just did and article 2 days ago stating the MWC has no GOR agreement with its members. "The MWC does not have a Grant of Rights and believes its exit fee bylaw extends in perpetuity, according to a league source. That means it would cost at least $17 million for a member to leave with more than one year’s notice or at least $35 million if leaving with less than one year’s notice, no matter the status of the TV deal, which runs through 2025-26."
FWIW that's about all I could find.
Alright, I tracked this down. Exit fees are tied to media contracts. But there is a one year delay built in. The universities would have to forego media payments for a year to effectively take the exit fee down to zero. You could probably play a game of chicken to try and negotiate a lower exit fee. But it is unlikely to ever really get the exit fees down to zero, because of how it is written. You could also hope for another COVID-19 situation, which also might take exit fees lower.
Beat me to it. The one year delay is the key.
Copied below is the section covering this in the Mountain West bylaws.
(a) Any Member may resign from membership in the Conference effective June 30 of each year
(the “Effective Date”) by delivering written notice to the Conference and the other Members
on or before the preceding June 30th (the “Notice Date”). The period from a Notice Date to an
Effective Date is referred to herein as the “Interim Period.” The resignation of a Member does
not relieve the Member Institution from any obligations such Member Institution may have to
the Conference as a result of obligations incurred or commitments made prior to the Effective
Date. (Revised June 2011, April 2021)
(b) Effective April 30, 2021 and thereafter any notice of resignation given by any Member shall be
subject to the Notice Date referenced in subparagraph (a) above and the following: the
resigning Member shall pay to the Conference as an Exit Fee an amount equal to three times
the average per Member Conference distribution payment for the preceding year. (the “Timely
Notice Exit Fee”) If the resigning member gives notice after the established “Notice Date”, the
resigning Member shall pay to the Conference as an Exit Fee an amount equal to double the
Timely Notice Exit Fee. After receiving Notice of Resignation from a Member, all payments due
that Member from the Conference shall be withheld and applied to that Member’s Exit Fee.
The balance of the Member’s Exit Fee as provided above, shall be paid by the Member to the
Conference on or before the Effective Date. (Revised June 2011, January 2013, July 2016, April
Post by Henry Skrimshander on Nov 20, 2023 14:37:37 GMT -8
Whatever the makeup of the new Pac-2/8/10/12, I hope we change the bylaws to make it clear that "notice of resignation" is anything written or video, etc., on an institution's (or the new conference's) website or other official publication announcing plans to leave.
No formal letter is required. If your AD or president goes on TV saying you're leaving, that's notice of withdrawl.
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