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Texas-Arlington is the newest member of the Western Athletic Conference.
The University of Texas system's board of regents voted to accept an invitation during a meeting in Austin on Thursday.
UTA will leave the Southland Conference for the WAC starting in 2012-13. It becomes the league's 10th school and its third that doesn't play football after the departures of Boise State, Nevada, Hawaii and Fresno State and the upcoming additions of Texas State and Texas-San Antonio, as well as Seattle and Denver, two other nonfootball playing schools.
The Mavericks compete in 14 sports, including basketball and baseball.
They are building a $78 million on-campus arena for their basketball and volleyball programs, which is scheduled to be done in December. School President Jim Spaniolo said he doesn't expect a discussion about adding football to begin until the building is complete.
With only seven members that will field football teams in 2012, the reconfigured WAC still will be one short of the NCAA minimum for Division I conferences. Commissioner Karl Benson has said he wants to add more football-playing members in the coming year.
The move to add UT-Arlington cements the WAC's snub of Utah Valley University in Orem, which had lobbied hard to join regional neighbor Utah State University in the league. But Utah Valley athletic director Mike Jacobson complained last week that his Wolverines were not invited because the Utah State Aggies "did not like us" and did not want them in the league.