MW Media Days: Commissioner speaks on NIL, realignment; Bulldogs preseason favorite

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Wednesday, July 20, 2022
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Commissioner Craig Thompson minced no words when he addressed the state of the Mountain West amidst conference realignment.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Commissioner Craig Thompson minced no words when he addressed the state of the Mountain West amidst conference realignment at the football media days Wednesday.

Thompson stated the conference was not in a position to expand from its 12 team structure, despite the latest moves made by USC and UCLA to jump over from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten.

"It is what it is. We are going to play and compete at the heart of athletic competition," Thompson said in his annual press conference. "Six on six, five on five, 11 on 11, and we might not have the best training table, our weight room might not be quite as large, but that doesn't mean we won't compete."

If the conference were to lose members to the Pac-12 or another conference as a falling domino from the USC/UCLA move, Thompson said the conference has three options: stay, add members, or merge with Conference USA as was discussed about a decade ago.

Thompson touched on other topics dominating the college football conversation like NIL and the transfer portal. He suggested that Congress regulate Name, Image, and Likeness deals.

"We've got to do a better job of saying, 'You can't do that.' It's a black and white rule as it stands and the NCAA puts," Thompson said.

Also on Day 1 of Mountain West football media days, the predicted order of finish was released as voted by the league's media. Fresno State was picked to finish atop the West Division with 20 first-place votes, the most of any Mountain West team.

Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford said, "We've been doing this long enough, and I don't think this is something new to our program, so I think they understand each and every week, you have to bring your A game or it could go sideways in a hurry."

Day 2 of Mountain West media days is Thursday with the players available for interviews. Quarterback Jake Haener and safety Evan Williams are expected to represent the Bulldogs.

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