BOZEMAN — Montana State athletic director Peter Fields confirmed Tuesday that the Bobcats have bought out of their scheduled football game with North Dakota State on Sept. 7.
MSU paid $100,000 to void the game with NDSU, and instead picked up a road game at Southern Methodist. SMU will pay the Bobcats $300,000.
Fields, who announced the full football schedule Tuesday, pointed to MSU’s desire to bolster its home slate, which it did with nonleague games against Monmouth (N.J.) and Mesa State (Colo.).
The Monmouth game is scheduled for Thursday night, Aug. 26. It will be the Bobcats’ season opener.
The game at SMU, Fields said, is also about exposure for the Bobcats, who have opened a recruiting pipeline into Texas in Rob Ash’s tenure as coach.
Fields said buying out of the NDSU game “was a hard decision but it was a decision about Montana State and what’s best for our program.”
“The decision not to play North Dakota State was not easy and was not made lightly,” Fields said. “But our responsibility is to the fans and season-ticket holders of Montana State, and this decision was made in their best interest.”
The Bobcats will play 12 regular season games in 2013, six at home and six on the road.
The remainder of the home schedule features games against Northern Arizona on Oct. 5, UC Davis on Oct. 26, Southern Utah on Nov. 16 and the annual rivalry game with Montana on Nov. 23.
The road portion of the schedule also includes games at Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 21, at North Dakota on Sept. 28, at Weber State on Oct. 19, at Northern Colorado on Nov. 2 and at Eastern Washington on Oct. 9.