WAC fines Fresno St., Nevada for move

DENVER -- The Western Athletic Conference is demanding a $5 million exit fee by Oct. 25 from Fresno State and Nevada, which are bolting to the Mountain West Conference.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson said the league would sue the universities if they don't pay up. He also said the league won't let the schools leave until after the 2011-12 season.

Fresno State and Nevada were informed of the WAC's hardline stance by letter on Friday. The schools announced Aug. 18 they would join the MWC. Because they didn't announce their decisions prior to a June 30 deadline required by WAC bylaws, neither school can leave for two years unless the league agrees to an early exit.

Benson said that by leaving before 2012, Fresno State and Nevada would cost each of the remaining WAC schools -- Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Utah State -- $2 million or more.