SDSU’s Class of 2024 is still part of the “Aztec family”

SDSU takes the field to warm-up against Hawai'i. Credit: Don De Mars/EVT

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Photos from Twitter @bey_stacy

On Friday, SDSU officially announced it had notified the Mountain West (MW) that it will not resign from the conference before the June 30 deadline. This choice was a reversal of the school’s stated intention only a few weeks earlier.

Changing their course without explanation opens up more questions than it answers. Without confirmation from the MW that it accepts SDSU’s recent letter, there remains a possibility that the conference unofficially granted the Aztecs an extension.

At worst, if the Aztecs leave for a new home in 2024, the exit fee doubles from roughly $17 million to $34 million. Given the school’s public declaration of its inability to pay that extra money, it suggests the school could be in the Mountain West until at least 2025.

For Aztec Nation, this development would only delay what it has hoped for all of 2023, but for SDSU’s football commits in the Class of 2024, it changes a major factor in their decisions.

Anthony McMillian celebrates a TD in the San Diego Section Title Game. (Nicole Noel Photography)

“I know we’re going to be that first class in the Pac-12,” SDSU’s first 2024 commit, Stacy Bey, told EVT in May. “So, I’m trying to get as much players and the best players in our area and in this class to come to San Diego State to start something up big.”

Two of the Aztecs’ more recent pledges echoed Bey’s sentiment.

“San Diego State, they are going to the pac-12 in 2024,” RB Anthony McMillian said

“Football-wise, (it) was the best opportunity that I had with the school going to the Pac-12,” TE Arthur Ban said on Episode 74 of The SDSU Podcast.

Following SDSU passing the June 30th deadline without resigning from the Mountain West, EVT reached out to Bey, McMillian, and Ban.

“No, even if they don’t go to the Pac-12, I’m still riding hard,” McMillian replied when asked if Friday change anything for him.

“I’m definitely still very set in my decision as (going to the Pac-12) was just one of many factors that led to me making my commitment,” Ban said echoing McMillian’s sentiment.

“Wherever SDSU lands, in the Pac-12 or Big XII, it won’t change my decision about SDSU. I’m a hard commit and excited to be part of the Aztec family.”

What if the school stays in the Mountain West?

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“(I’m) still rocking with the Aztec family,” Bey added.

Arthur Ban (9) with a run after catch. (Credit: Tim Martinez / The Columbian)

If the rest of the Class of 2024 follows the trios’ lead, Friday’s announcement was rather benign. Given everything that has transpired since Dan Patrick’s November report that SDSU was changing conferences, the most likely outcome continues to be that the Aztecs will be in the Pac-12 in 2024.

If the Pac-12’s payout to SDSU exceeds what the MW would give the school by $17 million, the money would be a wash. Add in ticket sales, the increase in advertisements from being in a better league, and the prestige of the Power 5 conference; it is very unlikely the Aztecs reject an offer from the Conference of Champions.

Failing to resign from the MW amounts to a $17 million insurance policy. The decision-makers in the Pac-12 clearly do not have a hold on the process. Ending the month of June without a TV deal is another in a long series of predictions that have failed to materialize.

The next “deadline” in the ongoing saga is July 21. That is the date of the football media days, and without a deal, the entire event would focus on what the conference has not done. Presumably, it was this date SDSU had in mind when it asked for a month’s extension of the June 30 deadline.

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