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Boise, Idaho • The University of Hawaii is expected to receive an official invitation this week to join the Mountain West Conference as a football-only member, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.

It is not clear where Hawaii would put its other schools, although the Big West Conference has been mentioned as a possible destination.

Hawaii, a member of the Western Athletic Conference for 32 years, is the longest-standing school in the conference.

Its defection to the Mountain West would bring the MWC to 10 teams and contribute the latest blow to WAC Commissioner Karl Benson and his attempt to keep his league together.

Hawaii also has explored the possibility of becoming independent for football and finding another conference in which to place its remaining sports.

The Mountain West board of directors is expected to meet again after the end of the year to decide whether it wants to stay a 10-team conference or expand to 12 teams and add a championship game.

If further expansion is the decision, Utah State University and the University of Texas El-Paso would be likely candidates for inclusion.

UTEP is now a member of Conference USA.

tjones@sltrib.comTwitter: @tonyaggieville