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No decisions expected from WAC membership meeting

Published September 27, 2010 4:02 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Athletic directors in the Western Athlete Conference will meet Tuesday in Dallas as the league's membership committee to study prospective new members in the wake of losing Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada to the Mountain West Conference.

No decisions are expected, however.

Commissioner Karl Benson said the committee will see presentations from Texas State and the University of Texas-San Antonio, both of which have expressed interest in joining the teetering league. Other schools are expected to participate in the meeting, including the University of Montana, Seattle University and the University of Denver — though Benson said "this is not a complete list of schools" that might be considered for WAC membership.

The meeting is the "next step" in a process that could lead to future meetings or campus visits.

Ultimately, he said, the league's board of directors will decide which teams to invite, based on recommendations from the membership committee, which includes Utah State's Scott Barnes and his fellow athletic directors from the other five remaining WAC schools.

Texas State plays in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) and would have to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision, while UTSA does not have a football program but is planning to launch one with former Miami coach Larry Coker in charge in 2011.

Seattle and Denver reportedly are interested in joining the WAC in all sports except football — neither has a football program — which could give the WAC eight teams in football and 10 in basketball, if the Texas schools wind up joining.

Montana has not publicly stated a desire to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision, but it's reportedly considering such a move, along with Sacramento State and Portland State.

Meanwhile, Benson said attorneys from the WAC "have been in communication" with Fresno State and Nevada, regarding the lawsuit the WAC filed in its attempt to keep them from leaving for the Mountain West before 2012.

That suggests a settlement is possible, but Benson declined to comment further. —




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