Utah State AD misses boat to leave WAC

Many stories will be trickling out in the coming days about what all went down on a chaotic Wednesday that saw the Mountain West Conference possibly put the Western Athletic Conference out of business.

Frantic phone calls and e-mails undoubtedly were exchanged between athletic directors and university presidents from Louisiana to Hawaii that might have changed the landscape of college sports in the western half of the United States.

It would be easy to see how signals could be crossed and messages mixed as schools tried to figure out what was going to happen next.

Perhaps that could explain the letter that Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes released.

“When the possibility of BYU leaving became known, MWC leadership contacted three WAC members inquiring about their interest in joining the MWC,” Barnes wrote. “Utah State was the first of these three contacts.”

Fresno State and UNR have long been thought to be the top two choices for MWC expansion, so it seems odd the conference would first go after Utah State.

“At the point in time when Utah State was contacted by the MWC, we had a binding agreement with the WAC and were well positioned with nine members, which included BYU,” Barnes wrote. “We were simply committed to uphold our agreement with fellow WAC members. We respectfully declined MWC interest and believed all WAC members would remain committed to our agreement.”

Quite a miscalculation.

If what Barnes wrote is true, he made a poor choice for his athletic department.

It’s the college sports equivalent of a first-class passenger on the Titanic rejecting an offer for first dibs on a lifeboat.

■ PROUD PAPA — The clip of New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie attempting to list the names and ages of his kids on Wednesday’s episode of the HBO series “Hard Knocks” is one of the most talked about clips on the Internet.

Cromartie struggles to name his various offspring, but Yahoo! football blog “Shutdown Corner” thinks it has figured out the former San Diego Charger mentioned “Alonzo, Keris, Myjunia, my daughter who just turned 3 yesterday, Tyler, London, Lelani and Jersey” during the 35-second clip.

At least three of the children are 3 years old.

According to the blog, Cromartie told reporters to not believe everything they see on the reality TV show. He said the producers asked him to do a second take of the scene to make it appear as if he was having difficulty naming his kids.

“I had nailed it the one time before,” he said, “but they had to redo it, and they just told me to pause between each one of (the names).”

Chris Chase of Shutdown Corner isn’t buying it.

“That quote sums up the beauty of this whole thing. Cromartie is proud of himself that he ‘nailed’ the naming of his kids the first time. He’s felt he achieved something, sort of like that one time I was able to name all the Supreme Court justices,” Chase wrote.


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