While it’s been some time since there has been concrete news on conference realignment, a report from ESPN on Friday indicates there is unrest linked to one Group of Five school.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that San Diego State has given the Mountain West Conference written notice that the school “intends to resign” from the conference.

It’s not that simple, however.

San Diego State would need to give a year notice to the MWC to withdraw next June and join a new conference for the 2024-25 season.

If the school gave that notice after June 30, the exit fee to leave the Mountain West would double from $16.5 million to nearly $34 million, according to Thamel.

In its letter to the Mountain West, San Diego State asked for a one-month extension on that deadline “given unforeseen delays involving other collegiate athletic conferences beyond our control,” Thamel reported.

This comes amid multiple reports in recent months that SDSU would be a leading candidate to join the Pac-12 Conference if the Power Five league chooses to expand.

The Pac-12 is currently in negotiations for its next media rights agreement. The conference’s current media rights deal expires following the upcoming season.

Thamel outlined several details surrounding the withdrawal letter and the MWC’s response, including:

  • The withdrawal letter, dated June 13, was “not the official notice of resignation,” and that San Diego State does not have an offer from the Pac-12 to join the conference.
  • In the letter, San Diego State also asked the Mountain West to be open to discussing the exit fee and asked for a four-year installment plan to be considered to pay a potential exit fee.
  • The league responded to San Diego State’s letter with one of its own, dated June 14, “that they accepted the letter of withdrawal and the consequences of withdrawing had begun,” while adding that the school “won’t be relieved of any financial obligation.”
  • Without any sort of modifications to the exit fee, it would be due by June 2024.
  • That prompted SDSU to respond that its letter wasn’t an official notice of resignation, rather clarifying it sought a month extension to the June 30 deadline.

“They’re trying to find out what we’re willing to do,” a Mountain West source told Thamel. “They want to see if the Mountain West Conference is going to handle this nicely. Well, that’s not going to happen. Everyone wants to find the best financial path for themselves, and it’s clunky.”

While San Diego State has no official invitation to join the Pac-12 or any other league — the Aztecs have also been linked with the Big 12 as an expansion possibility — school officials, including the president and athletic director, have openly discussed the possibility of SDSU switching conferences.

In late May, SDSU President Adela de la Torre told The San Diego Union-Tribune that he was confident that the school would one day be in a Power Five league.

“I’m really confident about our future in a Power 5 conference,” de la Torre told the Union-Tribune. “I’m also confident that, when we talk about the Pac-12, they need to get the best deal possible for us to get the pro rata share we deserve.

“So I’m patient. I’m one of these very patient leaders. There are a lot of people who want to rush. I have a good relationship with a number of the presidents in the Pac-12. I know we’re the No. 1 (expansion candidate), that they believe in us, that they see their future with us. I’m optimistic. But there’s never a straight line to success.”

San Diego State is a charter member of the MWC and has been a part of the conference since 1999, when eight teams — including BYU and Utah — broke off from the Western Athletic Conference to form the MWC.