Boise State winning the 2019 Mountain West title.

After the Mountain West’s new TV deal with CBS and Fox, the Boise State Broncos (seen above celebrating the 2019 Mountain West football title) were unhappy with comments from commissioner Craig Thompson that this new deal would be the last deal where Boise State received an extra slice of revenue ($1.8 million per year from 2020-26 under the new deal), and with a board of directors vote along those lines. That led to Boise State filing a complaint against the conference in court on Jan. 17, arguing that the deal they struck to return to the Mountain West in 2012 “does not contain a termination or expiration date and remains in full force and effect.”

On Jan. 22, the school and the conference issued a joint statement that they were “in discussions in hopes of bringing this matter to a resolution without litigation,” and they appear to have now found that resolution; Mark Ziegler of The San Diego Union-Tribune writes that the conference board of directors has now voted to reverse their earlier decision to stop Boise State’s extra revenue after this deal, and that the Broncos have agreed to drop their complaint as a result.

The Mountain West Board of Directors has quietly voted to rescind a decision that would end Boise State’s additional slice of revenue from the conference’s TV contract, several sources told the Union-Tribune.

In exchange, Boise State will drop a legal complaint filed last month against the conference and agree to terms of the new TV contract that begins this summer.

Essentially, the two sides are back to square one.

As Ziegler goes on to note, though, this doesn’t necessarily solve the issue long-term. There are believed to be plenty of Mountain West schools still in favor of ending the Broncos’ unique status, and this very well could lead to another fight down the road as the end of this new contract approaches in 2026 and as the conference has to start negotiating a new contract. But it does seem smart to pause the fight for now and to put on a “we’re all happy together!” face, even if that face may not last forever. There’s no need to spend a lot of time and money litigating this right now and making the conference look further divided when there are no actual impacts of this until at least 2027.

And there are plenty of changes that could come to the college sports landscape between now and the approach of that next contract. Maybe Boise State does even better than they have for the last while and gets back to their real heights of national prominence (it’s notable that Fox is already talking about maybe featuring them on Big Noon Kickoff), and maybe the Mountain West is very eager to keep them even if it means paying them more. Maybe they do so well that they get an invite somewhere else and take it, making this a moot point. Or maybe Boise State falls back to the pack and the Mountain West decides to try this route again, even if it means legal action.

There’s a lot that could come down the road. But for now, at least, everyone appears content to let this simmer for a few more years until we get closer to the end of this new contract.

[The San Diego Union-Tribune]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.