Lobo AD Says He Backs NMSU Cause
LAS CRUCES – Paul Krebs said that the University of New Mexico supports New Mexico State’s inclusion into the Mountain West Conference, but that there’s “simply not a lot of interest” from the other members of the respective league to bring NMSU on board.
Krebs, UNM’s athletic director, made the comments this week during an interview on KNML-AM (610).
“(Former UNM President David) Schmidly before him, and (current) President (Robert) Frank, have both made the case for New Mexico State to come into the conference,” Krebs said. “I think what you can gather from that statement is that there’s not a lot of support from the other members of the league to have New Mexico State come in. (UNM is) just one vote. Both presidents, former and current, have advocated for New Mexico State. But, based upon the discussions that I hear in those meetings, there just isn’t the support for New Mexico State to come into the league.”
The UNM Board of Regents gave support for NMSU’s inclusion into the Mountain West during its most recent meeting earlier in the week. Krebs called it a show of support “for a sister school in our state.”
He added, “New Mexico State finds itself, from my view, in a very difficult situation. The Board of Regents thought it was in the best interest for the state of New Mexico and the best interest to support their candidacy. … I don’t think it changes or has any impact on their ability to get into the league. But clearly it was the right thing to do.”
Although there is the belief the Mountain West would like to expand to a 12-team football league, Krebs said the conference is happy with its current configuration – 10 teams in football, nine in other sports.
Hawaii will be in the Mountain West as a football-only school this upcoming season, with its other sports competing in the West Coast Conference. Other Mountain West schools scheduled to be in the league for the 2012-13 season are New Mexico, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, Wyoming, Fresno State, Nevada, Boise State and San Diego State.
While BSU and SDSU are scheduled to leave the league the following year, Utah State and San Jose State will take their place, joining Hawaii, Fresno State, Nevada and Boise State as former Western Athletic Conference schools that will have jumped ship to the Mountain West in recent years.
Such WAC defections have left New Mexico State in a bind following the 2012-13 year. Unless something changes, the Aggies and Idaho will be the only remaining football-playing schools in the WAC.
NMSU’s President Barbara Couture and athletic director McKinley Boston have said the Mountain West is their No. 1 choice in terms of relocation.
“The schools typically send volumes of information to the ADs, to the presidents, to the conference office,” Krebs said regarding the process of schools pursuing conference memberships. “It’s not as though (the conference presidents) sit and decide what are the pros, what are the cons of adding somebody. There simply is not a lot of interest. And (the conversation) essentially dies.”
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal