This line was at the end of my story on Saturday, but it deserves a mention – Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh said the Falcons will not pay the $5 million exit fee to the Mountain West, and would simply wait until the 2013-14 season to join a new conference.
Here’s what I wrote on Aug. 15 about the buyout policy, put in place by the Mountain West after BYU and Utah left. Here’s the key point: If a team resigns after June 30, the penalty is $5 million and forfeiture of revenue from the conference from its last year in the Mountain West, or double the conference revenue, whatever is greater. If a team resigns on or before June 30, the $5 million buyout is not in effect, but it must forfeit its revenue from its final year and remain in the Mountain West for the upcoming school year.
Mueh stated with no hesitation that Air Force would not pay the exit fee. Perhaps when and if a decision is made to leave the Mountain West, the academy will reconsider and figure out if the fee would be less than its increase in revenue and leave for the 2012-13 season, but as of the moment that is not Air Force’s plan.