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The Mountain West lured Boise State in early June, but learned less than a week later that Utah was leaping west to a higher-profile spot in the Pac-10 along with Colorado.
So the Pac-10 becomes 12 and the Big 12, which also lost Nebraska to the Big Ten, settled at 10 members when Texas agreed to stay and keep the remaining parts of the league intact.
BYU, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was left out of the various realignments and athletic director Tom Holmoe said last month that going independent was an option the Cougars would consider. BYU already has its own television network -- BYU-TV -- which would get the Cougars out of having to share the Mountain West's TV network with the league's other eight members.
"We have a national base. We can go all over the country and people can see that," Holmoe told reporters last month. "That is a very important thing to us right now -- exposure."
The Salt Lake Tribune published Holmoe's comments on Wednesday after the rumors that the Cougars were going back to the WAC surfaced, then erupted when somebody apparently hacked Colorado State's athletics Twitter account and said an announcement was imminent.
The Tribune, citing an unidentified WAC source, said BYU's move was awaiting approval of church leaders. A church spokeswoman referred calls back to BYU, which released a brief statement late in the day after media relations workers were bombarded with calls and e-mail.
The statement did nothing to tone down speculation on whether conference realignment was really back again two months after it appeared settled for at least a little while.
"BYU has been reviewing, and will continue to explore, every option to advance its athletic program," the statement read. "At this point, BYU has no further comment."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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