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DISTRICT COURT, JEFFERSON COUNTY, COLORADO

Court Address: 100 Jefferson County Parkway


Golden, CO 80401
Telephone No: (303) 271-6148
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE, a Colorado
nonprofit corporation,

Plaintiff,

v.

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FRESNO, a


California state institution, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, a COURT USE ONLY
Nevada state institution, and MOUNTAIN WEST _______________________
CONFERENCE, a Colorado nonprofit corporation,
Case Number:
Defendants
Attorney for Plaintiff Div. Ctrm:
Jon T. Bradley, #10143
BRADLEY DEVITT HAAS & WATKINS, P.C.
South Mesa Professional Building
2201 Ford Street
Golden, Colorado 80401
Telephone Number: (303) 384-9228
Facsimile Number: (303) 384-9231
Atty. Reg. No. 10143
e-mail: Jon@goldenlawyers.com
COMPLAINT

Comes now the Plaintiff, Western Athletic Conference (WAC), by and through its
attorneys, Bradley Devitt Haas & Watkins P.C., and as and for its Complaint against the
Defendants states and alleges as follows:

General Allegations

1. Western Athletic Conference (hereinafter WAC) is a Colorado nonprofit


corporation with its principal place of business located at 9250 E. Costilla Avenue, Suite
300 Englewood Colorado, Arapahoe County, 80112. The WAC is a conference of
academic institutions which participates in NCAA Football Bowl Subdvision (FBS)
athletics. This litigation seeks declaratory relief regarding interpretation of the bylaws of
the WAC. Pursuant to Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 98(c)1 venue and jurisdiction
are proper in Jefferson County District Court, Colorado because two of the Defendants
are nonresidents of the State of Colorado.
2. The current academic institutions which are members of the WAC include
the University of Hawaii, an institution of the State of Hawaii; the University of Idaho, an
institution of the State of Idaho; Louisiana Tech University, an institution of the State of
Louisiana; New Mexico State University, an institution of the State of New Mexico; San
Jose State University, an institution of the State of California; Utah State University, an
institution of the State of Utah; Boise State University, an institution of the State of
Idaho; California State University, Fresno, an institution of the State of California; and
University of Nevada, an institution of the State of Nevada.

3. California State University, Fresno (hereinafter Fresno) is a California


state institution located in Fresno, California. Fresno is an academic institution which
participates in FBS athletics. Fresno is currently a member of the WAC which provided
its verbal notice of its intent to withdraw from the conference on August 18, 2010 and
confirmed its notice of its intent to withdraw by letter dated August 20, 2010.

4. University of Nevada (hereinafter Nevada) is a Nevada state institution


located in Reno, Nevada. Nevada is an academic institution which participates in FBS
athletics. Nevada is currently a member of the WAC which provided its verbal notice of
its intent to withdraw from the conference on August 18, 2010 and confirmed its notice of
its intent to withdraw by letter dated August 24, 2010.

5. Boise State University has provided its notice of its intent to withdraw
from the conference prior to June 30, 2010.

6. The Mountain West Conference is a Colorado nonprofit corporation


having its principal place of business located at 15455 Gleneagle Drive, Colorado
Springs, Colorado 80921.

7. The WAC and its member institutions are governed by bylaws which were
most recently amended on June 6, 2006. A copy of said bylaws are attached hereto and
incorporated herein by reference and marked Exhibit A.

8. According to Section 7 of the bylaws, "Any Member may withdraw from


the Conference by filing with each of the other Members and with the Commissioner of
the Conference, on or before July 1 of any year, an official notice of withdrawal, in which
event the withdrawal shall be effective the following June 30. Any withdrawing Member
shall, however, play all approved athletic competitions scheduled with the other Members
in accordance with the governing contracts unless such competitions are waived by
written consent of the parties affected."

9. Boise State University provided its notice of withdrawal prior to July 1,


2010. Therefore, its withdrawal is effective June 30, 2011.

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10. Fresno provided its notice of withdrawal after July 1, 2010. Therefore, its
withdrawal is effective June 30, 2012. A copy of the notice of withdrawal is attached
hereto, and incorporated herein by reference, and marked Exhibit B.

11. Nevada provided its notice of withdrawal after July 1, 2010. Therefore, its
withdrawal is effective June 30, 2012. A copy of the notice of withdrawal is attached
hereto, and incorporated herein by reference, and marked Exhibit C.

12. Fresno has indicated that it is its desire to withdraw on July 1, 2011.
Withdrawal as of July 1, 2011 would be contrary to the conditions and requirements of
the WAC bylaws.

13. Nevada has indicated that it believes that its withdrawal is effective June
30, 2011. Withdrawal as of that date would be contrary to the conditions and
requirements of the WAC bylaws. Nevada has further indicated that it will play in the
Mountain West Conference for the 2011-2012 season. Nevada is obligated to play in the
WAC for the 2011-2012 season pursuant to the WAC bylaws.

First Claim for Relief


(Declaratory Relief)

14. The Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 13 as if fully set forth


herein.

15. The notices provided by Fresno and Nevada were not provided prior to
July 1, 2010. Consequently, the notices are not effective for their withdrawal from the
WAC until June 30, 2012.

16. As Members of the WAC, Fresno and Nevada are obligated to schedule
conference games in all sports as Members through June 30, 2012, and participate in the
WAC seasons for their athletics in accordance with the bylaws.

17. If Fresno or Nevada fail or refuse to participate as Members of the WAC


through June 30, 2012 there will be irreparable damage to the conference and its
remaining members in that scheduling will be incomplete, and participation and
competition for the student athletes will be adversely affected. There will be irreparable
financial consequences in amounts that cannot be accurately determined. The stature of
the conference will be jeopardized. Television, radio and other media contracts will be
adversely affected and jeopardized.

18. Fresno and Nevada have indicated that they do not believe that the bylaws
require them to remain as Members of the WAC through June 30, 2012. The parties have
a mature, ripe dispute regarding the interpretation of the bylaws. Rule 57 of the Colorado
Rules of Civil Procedure provides a proper mechanism for this Court to declare the
rights, status, and other legal relations between these parties.

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19. Plaintiff seeks a declaration from this Court that Fresno and Nevada are
bound by the bylaws of the WAC and are to remain Members of the WAC through June
30, 2012.

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Second Claim for Relief
(Injunctive Relief)

20. Plaintiff incorporates the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 19


as if fully set forth herein.

21. Upon information and belief, Defendants Fresno, Nevada, and the
Mountain West Conference are proceeding with the scheduling of athletic games within
the Mountain West Conference for the 2011-2012 seasons for inter-conference play
between Fresno, Nevada and Mountain West Conference schools. Such scheduling will
be mutually exclusive with proper scheduling of conference games by Fresno and Nevada
in the WAC.

22. Unless Fresno, Nevada, and the Mountain West Conference, are restrained
from proceeding with such scheduling and unless Fresno and Nevada are ordered to
comply with their scheduling requirements with the WAC, the WAC and its remaining
Members will suffer immediate irreparable injury, including but not limited to:

a. Incalculable, irreparable financial harm to the remaining WAC academic


institutions and to the WAC. The ESPN contract with the WAC is subject to renegotiation. The
premature departure of Fresno or Nevada would likely cause irreparable damage to the prospect
of a reasonable renegotiation of the ESPN contract.

b. Impossibility to schedule football games. As Boise State has left the


conference, a void in scheduling has already been created. That void has been partially filled by
an agreement with Brigham Young University, however, the remaining six WAC Members
would be unable to find and schedule opponents for football games during the 2011 season.

c. Irreparable injury to the status of the WAC to receive revenue distribution


from the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). Over the last four years the WAC has been at the
number 2 spot between the five non-automatic qualified conferences. The premature departure
of Fresno or Nevada would significantly jeopardize and irreparably harm the WAC in its
expectation of revenue from the BCS.

d. Irreparable injury to the national stature of the conference.

e. The premature departure of Fresno or Nevada would irreparably interfere


with the process and prospects of finding acceptable academic institutions to join the conference.

f. The premature departure of Fresno or Nevada would jeopardize the


prospects of the WAC fulfilling its football bowl obligations.

23. There is no legal remedy that provides full, complete, adequate relief to
the WAC other than injunctive relief.

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WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff prays for relief as follows:

1. For a declaration from this Court that the effective date of the withdrawal
of Nevada from the WAC is June 30, 2012, in accordance with the bylaws.

2. For a declaration from this Court that the effective date of the withdrawal
of Fresno from the WAC is June 30, 2012, in accordance with the bylaws.

3. For an injunction against all the Defendants prohibiting them from


scheduling any athletic contests which will interfere with the scheduling of conference
games between Fresno and Nevada with the remaining WAC Members through the 2011-
2012 athletic seasons.

4. For such other and further relief as to the Court may seem just and proper.

BRADLEY DEVITT HAAS & WATKINS, P.C.


Attorneys for Plaintiff

/s/ Jon T. Bradley


Jon T. Bradley, #10143

Plaintiff’s Address:
Western Athletic Conference
9250 E. Costilla Ave., Suite 300
Englewood, CO 80112