/Weekend Hot Clicks: Conference Realignment Could Be on the Horizon – Sports Illustrated

Weekend Hot Clicks: Conference Realignment Could Be on the Horizon – Sports Illustrated

boise state football realignment

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Saintly Advice

The New Orleans Saints aided the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans in its “pattern and practice of concealing its crimes,” according to attorneys representing nearly two dozen men suing the church for sexual abuse. And the Saints are going to court to prevent hundreds of emails showing team executives doing public relations damage control for the church, who’s also fighting the release of emails.

From SI’s Michael McCann:

“The men accused the Archdiocese of negligence, fraudulent concealment, public nuisance and vicarious liability related to the alleged sexual abuse of children. A central figure in the alleged abuse is George Brignac. Brignac, 85, was ordained as a deacon and employed by the Archdiocese as a teacher for many years.

“Saints executives allegedly helped the Archdiocese manage external relations related to the Brignac controversy and related controversies. This assistance included emails that the Saints now refuse to turn over on account of confidentiality. Depending on the trajectory of the litigation, Saints executives could become witnesses in a high-profile clergy abuse case.”

Read McCann’s article for the full breakdown and potential outcomes.

Conference Realignment

In early December 2011, Boise State and San Diego State announced their intention to join the Big East as football-only members. Three weeks later, the Broncos and Aztecs reneged on that announcement, saying they would stay in the Mountain West, where they’ve both remained as full members since.

Eight years later, Boise State’s relationship with the conference has soured and their temporary home in December 2011—the Big East, which transformed into the AAC—is watching, per USA Today’s Dan Wolken:

“The Mountain West’s peer league, the American Athletic Conference, is watching this soap opera closely, considering whether the time is right to make a play that would significantly strengthen its brand as the best football league outside the Power Five, kneecap its rival and fill a hole in its membership that was created when UConn announced it was leaving last summer.”

The rumblings come three months after Troy Calhoun questioned Air Force’s membership in the Mountain West, saying, “We are in a league where to be blunt, I don’t know if it’s the route maybe we should go . . . I just don’t know if it’s really a match. I don’t know if it’s best.”

At the time, on the High Motor podcast, I spoke with B.J. Rains of the Idaho Press-Tribune about the possibility of a spot opening in the Mountain West. Who might they target? Would they consider North Dakota State?

If North Dakota State—winners of eight of the last nine FCS national championships—was in the FBS, how good would they be?

Danielle Herrington

$19 Million Deficit!

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Odds & Ends

A man in Sioux Falls was arrested on Thursday for playing “Benny Hill” near people slipping on ice … George Kittle will have special guests at the Super Bowl … K-State fight is latest embarrassment for controversy-riddled Kansas program … 20 big questions about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal … Mike Fiers is refusing comment on the scandal, saying he doesn’t want to be a distract to the Athletics … The Bengals are supposedly considering four players at No. 1 … Meet the Puppy Bowl starters … Elephants escaped a circus in Russia, wandered the snowy city streets.

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