After a year of talking with the commissioner, some presidents and athletic directors in the MWC, Gonzaga University will remain a member of the WCC at this time.
The official confirmation came Monday when Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth confirmed it to a beat writer for the Spokane newspaper.
What does this move mean for BYU? In basketball, it means no upheaval for the time being. BYU's best path at the present time is to stay the course as an independent in football and take the WCC as is. BYU should hope at some future date when TV contracts are redone, a P5 conference will take another peek at its program.
That may be a tough road for the Cougars, it's true, but it is one the university seems most interested in pursuing at present.
If the Gonzaga courtship with the MWC shows anything, it is that the MWC is not interested in throwing out special deals like it did for Boise State. The MWC refused to do it for Gonzaga because the membership hated the idea. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the MWC is not going to do anything special to invite BYU back in the league in the future. And that's fine.
The MWC-Zag decision came after a confusing weekend at the Final Four, where many MWC folks believed Gonzaga joining the Mountain West was a done deal. Then, on Saturday, it was reported that MWC commissioner Craig Thompson thought such a move was a long shot. Roth later told reporters it was news to him that the MWC and Gonzaga deal had mired down or stopped.
Then came the Monday confirmation that things were over.
All of this came days after the WCC made a public announcement of a "schedule enhancement" that would give WCC schools a 16-game conference schedule instead of 18. It also made the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas an event where the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds would only play in the semifinals. There were also financial considerations given to Gonzaga, a national power in basketball and regularly considered a top-15 team.
This WCC schedule enhancement came just a week after the league formally hired a commissioner, Gloria Nevarez, a job that had been handled by an interim commissioner through the later part of this school year.
Credit Nevarez for getting to her throne and wielding a little power right out of the chute.
In my opinion, a big part of the decision was exposure. The WCC basketball TV schedule gives Gonzaga more nationally televised games on more accessible platforms for Zag fans than the MWC could provide in the short term. It also helped that the concessions and adjustments were attractive to Gonzaga, a team that has dominated the WCC for two decades.