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Conference Realignment: Air Force Will Not Pay $5 Million Exit Fee If They Leave For Big East

Air Force Falcons athletic director Hans Mueh has come out and said that that Air Force will not be paying the $5 million exit fee for leaving the Mountain West after June 30. The exit penalty was put in place when the Utah Utes and BYU Cougars elected to leave the Mountain West to go to the Pac-12 and independent route. Prior to this penalty the Mountain West had no penalty for leaving the league.

Rather than pay that amount Mueh mentions that if Air Force does go to the Big East then it would not be until the 2013-14 academic year. By waiting to move a year later Air Force would only forfeit revenue for that final year and that should be just less than the $5 million penalty -- or pay double the revenue if that is more than the $5 million -- for leaving after the deadline.

Mueh also mentioned that Air Force could still leave to join the Big East for the 2012 year but a move would depend on how much the exit penalty would be. Also it is still worth noting that nothing is official as Air Force and the Big East do not have an agreement to bring Air Force aboard.

For more on the Mountain West and possible realignment, visit Mountain West Connection.