Here is the latest news from Nevada:
Meetings adjourn without league
Seven schools, including SDSU, discuss procedural issues
Two days of meetings between athletic officials from universities interested in forming a Division I-AA football conference didn't yield a new league.
However, South Dakota State and the six other schools involved, managed to address issues and work slightly closer to an agreement.
"We did the kind of things I expected," SDSU Athletic Director Fred Oien said Tuesday. "We went through the constitution and bylaws, we talked about the procedures of how a league would operate, we talked about
"I think we made good progress, but there's a lot of work left. We're not done yet."
The meetings were held at the Primm Valley Resorts and Casino, situated in the southern tip of Nevada about 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas, near the California and Arizona borders. The officials met from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. (PST) on Monday, then again from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday before parting ways.
Athletic directors from six of the schools - SDSU, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, California-Davis, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Southern Utah - attended. St. Mary's (Calif.) sent an associate athletic director.
Oien said the schools will continue to talk via conference calls in the coming months, though he wouldn't estimate a timetable.
This proposed league would only be for football. SDSU's other sports would have to find another Division I conference to compete in.
Gene Taylor, NDSU's athletic director, said another face-to-face meeting could be held at January's NCAA convention in Nashville. He added that most of the meetings Monday and Tuesday were spent fine-tuning the administrative and financial aspects of a new conference.
"We knew it was going to take us more than the two days we had," Taylor said, "but we did get a significant amount of work done."
The initial estimation of beginning conference play in 2005 has been shuffled a bit, Taylor said.
"We tried to fill some holes (in the schedules) that we had, both Fred and I, and we talked about the future," Taylor said. "From here on, there's potential that everybody is going to play everybody in '05. I'm not sure that's going to happen. Definitely, everybody will play in '06 and '07."
One major sticking point is the sustained hope by SDSU and NDSU for an invitation to join the Big Sky Conference. That league offers Division I-AA football, along with Division I competition in other sports.
"We're not speculating that the Dakotas might go to the Big Sky or another conference. But for any of us, especially in this day and age, anything can happen," said Greg Warzecka, California-Davis' athletic director. "They've been up front about it, and we've all been cognizant of it."
Oien said every conference discusses proper ways to enter and exit.
"As we progress over the next few months, it may become a deeper topic," Oien said of a potential Big Sky invitation.
No one would give away potential names for the new league. Warzecka said a few are in the running, and that the marketing departments at the schools will be checking on possible trademark conflicts.
Warzecka said April is the target month to have everything in place. That's when the NCAA Division I Membership Committee meets to review applications.
In the interim, the schools will try to get their football coaches together for a meeting in January, then will use February for planning in hopes of having everything in order by March.
"That's what we're headed toward -Êgetting our application filled out and done to submit to the Membership Committee," Warzecka said.
Oien, who was to meet with SDSU alumni and donors Tuesday night in Las Vegas, said getting to know the other ADs and discussing the issues were keys he took out of Nevada.
"They're really good people. They all speak about the student-athlete first and what will be good for them," he said. "When you get a group of people together who believe that's the most important thing, that's pretty good stuff."