All Signs Point To Gonzaga Remaining In WCC
Mountain West to remain at 11 teams
Zags likely to remain in WCC
After months negotiations all signs point to Gonzaga remaining in the West Coast Conference for the 2018-19 academic year, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“For next season, it doesn’t look promising,” Commissioner Craig Thompson said prior to the national semifinal game in San Antonio. “I’d put it like this: Today is today, none of us can predict tomorrow.
“We’re going to continue to grow our league. We’ll keep improving ourselves and see what happens.”
There was talk from at least one Mountain West coach who said Zags to the Mountain West was on the cutting room floor.
It seems that the West Coast Conference’s adjustment to reduce the league schedule by two games, multiple byes for the top seeds in the league tournament and requiring better scheduling for the whole WCC.
Those adjustments should help the WCC and Gonzaga with two more chances to schedule better games and the hopes the rest of the league does play better teams to improve RPI of the conference.
Not everyone thinks the Zags were all that interested in leaving the WCC.
Money likely the reason to why the Bulldogs are very likely to remain in the WCC. NCAA Tournament credits are another source of revenue and Gonzaga’s deep tournament runs, and recent Final Four appearance gives the Zags and the WCC a lot of money.
One source said Gonzaga would receive roughly $1 million per year in back shares, and that it would keep a large percentage of payouts the farther it advances in the tournament.
Money will go a long way to keeping any team happy and that is what Gonzaga got by leveraging its strength on the hardwood to more money in its pocketbooks.
Also, if Gonzaga joins the Mountain West next year they would stand to lose $7 million in NCAA tournament credits. That amount is a lot of money for a school which does not sponsor football and is over six times more than each Mountain West team earns per year from its media rights deal.
“Congratulations, that’s a good deal for them,” Thompson said. “They’re offering some things that probably don’t make sense for our league. Most conferences are adding games.
“They’re going to fewer games. We’ve increased our (NCAA Tournament) unit bonus, but what I’m hearing they’re doing, we’re not going to do that.”
What Thompson is alluding to is that the Mountain West is giving teams from the conference which make the NCAA Tournament a larger bonus. Right now, the league pays out $100,000 to tournament participants with the rest split evenly, but that number is expected to double to $200,000.
This isn’t 100 percent a no for Gonzaga joining the conference down the road as Thompson sai:d “for next season, it doesn’t look promising.”
Maybe, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few wants to see how the scheduling changes play out for them and the WCC and see if it really is a boon for them with the extra games and requirements for the rest of the conference to improve its non-conference slate.