The WAC not sponsoring football in 2013 shouldn't come as a surprise to many if anyone, nor should Aggie football playing independently in 2013.
League commissioner Jeff Hurd essentially said such last month at the WAC media conference, and confirmed it once again this week.
For the Aggies, it's not a train wreck waiting to happen, it's a train wreck that's happened.
To a certain degree, it seems like an act of fate, the perfect storm at the worst possible time for the athletics department.
A lousy geographic location as it pertains to conference realignment, in a small market, sandwiched between two rivals — New Mexico and UTEP — that really haven't helped NMSU's cause in the conference chase.
Sadly enough, NMSU hasn't been horrible on the playing field — quite the opposite, actually.
Outside of football, where the Aggies have a fine head coach in DeWayne Walker and could push for a bowl game this year, the school has held its own in recent years.
Heck, they went to an NCAA baseball regional this past year. Men's basketball has been to two NCAA Tournaments the past three years, and softball won the WAC two years ago.
We know about Aggie volleyball — a top-two team in the WAC and an NCAA Tournament contender that looks to be loaded again in 2012, and a possible front-runner in the conference.
The school has been in the top-half of the WAC Commissioner's Cup the last handful of years, and academically NMSU athletics has been solid. Players have walked a straight line away from their respective sports. A tip of the hat must go to NMSU coaches, who deserve better.
Apparently, none of the aforementioned factors matter much at all in this instance. For all intents and purposes, the Aggies conference conundrum is enough to cause nausea.
The reality in this frustrating and vicious cycle, is that not all the answers are present to everyone, although clearly one could say the leadership contingency at the school has fallen short.
We all have jobs to do, and the administration's job is to make sure their athletics program is not in this position. That their football program is protected and their non-football sports have a conference to call home. This isn't asking a lot, nor is it outside such job descriptions or requirements, rather should be central on the agenda.
Of course, Athletics Director McKinley Boston is going to take many of the bullets in this, not saying that isn't rightfully so.
Again, he is the athletics director, and this nightmare has come under his watch.
We also know Boston's strengths and weaknesses at this point as an AD — a good man who can come off as a poor fit in this community, one who isn't a knee-jerk reactionary. Such a quality lends itself to hiring and retaining good coaches, something he's done a fine job of while at NMSU, which has helped the program keep its head above water on the field. But it has backfired badly during the conference realignment era, at a time when his department desperately needed another approach. Simply staying the course and trying to rebuild the WAC was something NMSU was doing, while many of their rivals, apparently, were not.
With all that being said, we would be remiss and short-sighted if we wrote that Boston's hands haven't been tied.
Yes, from a leadership standpoint Boston deserves half the blame, but lets not give Barbara Couture a pass in this respect either.
She's equally as involved as the school's president, as well as the chair of the WAC. Read that again if you must, but it's been a painful coincidence as the past year's events have unfolded.
Simply ask yourself this question: If former president Mike Martin were still in place at NMSU right now, would the Aggies be in this position? I'll go out on a limb and say ‘no,’ that the university would have kept itself out of harms way the best it could have. Martin was here when the Aggies initially entered the WAC, and invested heavily into athletics. He believed the athletics department was the front porch of the university, and wanted the porch looking the best it could for potential suitors. In all likelihood, he wouldn't have accepted this situation as it were.
There is a dark cloud hovering overhead going into NMSU's 2012-13 sports year, where every day the news seems to get worse. At a time when people should be excited about the new year kicking off, all the talk is about the train wreck that is Aggie athletics.
Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg