POSTED: 08:22 a.m. HST, Nov 11, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 11:24 a.m. HST, Nov 11, 2010
The Western Athletic Conference this morning announced the addition of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Texas State and Denver for the 2012-13 school year.
Meanwhile, Montana, which had been considering WAC membership, announced it will remain in the Big Sky Conference rather than following UTSA and Texas State in making the leap from the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Denver will be a non-football member.
Their addition will bring football membership to eight schools and basketball to nine baring further changes. Boise State will depart the WAC June 30, 2011 while Fresno State and Nevada exit June 30, 2012.
Seattle University, which had been under consideration as a non-football member, could be reconsidered in the wake of Montana's rejection.
"The addition of these three schools clearly sends a message that the WAC and its member schools are prepared to move forward to build a 'new' WAC," commissioner Karl Benson said in a statement. "And as the WAC prepares to begin its next 50 years as an athletic conference, I am confident that these three new members along with the six other WAC schools will continue to compete at the highest level of the NCAA."
Montana had considered joining the WAC and had commissioned a feasibility study.
But its new UM president, Royce Engstrom, said in a release, “In the end, the better course is to stay with the conference we helped establish in 1963 and to continue building on its solid foundation."
Engstrom added, "At this time, FCS football presents the best overall fit for the university. It provides our (athletes) and fans with a great experience and it is consistent with the strategic direction of the university."
Meanwhile, the University of Hawaii, which is the WAC's longest-serving current member at 32 years, has been seeking to join Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada in the Mountain West Conference or remain in the WAC. Another option, UH officials have said, is to become an independent in football and play in the Big West in other sport.