Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 22 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Mountain West and Conference USA announce merger

By Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 12:37 p.m. HST, Feb 13, 2012

Architects of the announced impending merger between the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA said the resulting new conference will bring the University of Hawaii "stability and predictable scheduling with a region they are already well familiar with."

Nevada-Las Vegas president Neal Smatresk, a former UH vice chancellor and current MWC board president, told the Star-Advertiser, that the as yet-unnamed 16-school "intercollegiate athletic association" will mean, "we won't always have to have the discussions about how many new members we have to bring in each year."

The new conference is scheduled to debut July 1, 2013 and could have from 18 to 24 members by then, officials said. UH will be a football-only member and will compete in the Big West Conference in most other sports.

University of Hawaii president M.R.C. Greenwood said, "(UH) is excited and honored to be part of" a new conference that will result from the impending merger of the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA.

Tulane president Scott Cowen, chairman of Conference USA, said, "Hawaii is a great school, great program and we're glad to have them as part of the partnership."

In a statement, Smatresk said, "This is an exciting development that will stabilize the current conferences and create the first truly national conference with members in five time zones and television viewership from coast to coast. 

This partnership brings together like-minded institutions to improve the integrity and stability of intercollegiate athletics. We are moving our plans forward rapidly and expect to complete our conversations in the near future."

Cowen told the Star-Advertiser, "We haven't worked out all the details but as we envision it, there would probably be two divisions and those two divisions would look fairly similar to the way the Mountain West looks right now and Conference USA."

The new conference would stretch, in football, from Hawaii to North Carolina and from California to North Carolina in other sports.

The schools currently involved are: the  Air Force Academy, Alabama at Birmingham, Colorado State, East Carolina, Fresno State, UH, Marshall, Nevada, New Mexico, Nevada-Las Vegas, Rice,  Southern Mississippi, Texas at El Paso, Tulane, Tulsa and Wyoming.

Officials said the new entity will be meeting with television partners about a new contract.

The announcement came after a meeting in Dallas Sunday. Plans have been in the works since Sept., 2011 when the intent to merge was announced.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 22 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Seawolf1 wrote:
Bring in Alaska-Anchorage as a basketball only school to make 6 time zones!!!!!!!! GO SEAWOLVES!
on February 13,2012 | 09:44AM
frontman wrote:
I hope UH got the "payall the costs for all teams that come to Hawaii" clause out of the new conference contract. If not, taxpayers are in big trouble. Anything this large is doomed for failure or abuse in creating schedules and opponents
on February 13,2012 | 12:28PM
Anonymous wrote:
Will Hawaii move their other sports into the MWC now?
on February 13,2012 | 09:51AM
Seawolf1 wrote:
I know right? Funny thing is our Hockey team already schedules games at the D-1 level, and our basketball team does the same thing? So, what would be the difference?
on February 13,2012 | 10:34AM
false wrote:
Getting to those Alaska home games may cause some issues, otherwise why not!
on February 13,2012 | 09:52AM
Seawolf1 wrote:
Our Hockey team is already in the WCHA and our Basketball team in the GNAC, which are both lower 48 conferences...so what is the differences?????
on February 13,2012 | 10:36AM
nj24 wrote:
Financially I think all the other sports are better off in the Big West. You can imagine the cost to play volleyball @ East Carolina? I wonder if the football is still obligate to suppliment travel to teams from the East Coast?
on February 13,2012 | 10:03AM
EyeKea wrote:
That is why there will be 2 divisions, esentially East and West. the West division will virtually be the same MWC alignment so we will probably not have to play the East division teams except for "non-conference" or out of division and championship games.
on February 13,2012 | 11:41AM
go4it wrote:
I would love to see the Hawaii basketball team join the Mountain West. Football and basketball in this new combined conference and remainng sports in the Big West.
on February 13,2012 | 11:02AM
chryw8 wrote:
good luck getting a good tv contract. all teams are in small markets, save for rice. and nj's comment about travel subsidies is also a big concern.
on February 13,2012 | 11:04AM
frontman wrote:
I hope UH got the "payall the costs for all teams that come to Hawaii" clause out of the new conference contract. If not, taxpayers are in big trouble. Anything this large is doomed for failure or abuse in creating schedules and opponents.
on February 13,2012 | 12:28PM
brycekris wrote:
18 to 24 schools. What a joke. This sounds like the old WAC back in the late 1990's. We all know how long that lasted....like 3 years until the better teams ran away and the Mountain West was formed.
on February 13,2012 | 01:01PM
Do_you_know_SHATA wrote:
maybe that's their intent. They'll weed out the scrub programs and form their new conference again. Anyway, the Warriors will end up in the PAC12 in a few years.
on February 13,2012 | 01:35PM
ghstar wrote:
Seriously? How about the Northwest Confernce . . .
on February 13,2012 | 03:25PM
H20 wrote:
And yet the WAC still lives while the MWC vanishes...
on February 13,2012 | 04:25PM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
You realize that the old WAC was ahead of their time when they formed the 16 teams. Had they stayed together, they would have already have been a BCS conference. On hindsight, they set themselves back by leaving and even farther back when they lost BYU and Utah which would have never happened. The MWC commissioner must be so proud of himself to see the conference crumble that he put together secretly. Now they're as crappy as the new WAC. Karma is a B--CH.
on February 13,2012 | 06:27PM
st1d wrote:
i thought the u.h. was joining the doctor who conference when i saw the logo.
on February 13,2012 | 01:56PM
lowtone123 wrote:
Does this remind anyone of when the WAC expanded to 16 teams before 8 bolted to form the original MWC lineup?
on February 13,2012 | 03:34PM
Loki wrote:
You can forget Air Force. They're going to the Big East. This conference sucks. Not one good team in it. Too big. Good luck finding a decent tv contract to go with it.
on February 13,2012 | 05:33PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
The worst case scenario would have been remain in the WAC. With the likes of Sacramento St, Denver College, Louisiana-Monroe, Univ of Seattle joining the WAC, I still prefer the Mountain West.
on February 13,2012 | 06:33PM
false wrote:
Absolutely correct!
on February 13,2012 | 07:31PM
mynah wrote:
my first impression is that this is a rag tag league with a bunch of left over teams huddling in a life boat after fleeing from sinking ships and all waiting to jump ship as soon as they can! Yuk!
on February 13,2012 | 07:55PM
Breaking News
Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout