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Thursday, October 02, 2014         

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UH making contacts with WCC, Big West

The two conferences involved don't play football, meaning UH would be independent

By Ferd Lewis

POSTED:



Contacts between the University of Hawaii and two non-football-playing leagues, the West Coast Conference and Big West Conference, about possible membership have gained frequency in the past few days, people familiar with the situations said.

The exploratory conversations come in the wake of the Western Athletic Conference defections of Fresno State and Nevada to the Mountain West Conference plus the possibility of WAC member Utah State also ending up there.

Asked if he has spoken to Big West and West Coast Conference officials since the Aug. 18 announcements by Fresno State and Nevada, UH athletic director Jim Donovan said, "No comment."

Big West commissioner Dennis Farrell said, "At this point, I'd rather not comment on any contact (with UH)." West Coast Conference officials did not return phone calls or e-mails.

But in June, Farrell told the Star-Advertiser, "Hawaii certainly does have a great history with the Big West with their women's programs and we have a great affinity for their program and people over the years."

The Rainbow Wahine were members of the Big West and its forerunner, the Pacific Coast Athletic Association, from 1985 to '95 with Farrell as commissioner. The Rainbow Wahine joined the WAC in 1996.

Donovan said, "We're exploring all of our options and that includes whether we might, possibly, go to another conference, go independent in everything but football or go independent with most of our sports."

Should UH go independent in football, it would likely put its other 18 teams in another conference, with the Big West the most likely home.

The nine-school Big West, which is composed of California schools, has a moratorium on expansion until year's end. The eight-member West Coast Conference, stretching from San Diego to Spokane, Wash., is made up of small, Christian institutions.

 

WEST COAST CONFERENCE

SCHOOL LOCATION ENROLLMENT
Gonzaga Spokane, Wash. 6,375
Loyola Marymount Los Angeles 8,300
Pepperdine Malibu, Calif. 8,000
Portland Portland, Ore. 3,300
Saint Mary's Moraga, Calif. 4,768
San Diego San Diego 7,548
San Francisco San Francisco 8,000
Santa Clara Santa Clara, Calif. 8,377

SPORTS

Men (6): Baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis.

Women (7): Basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, tennis, volleyball.

 

BIG WEST CONFERENCE

SCHOOL LOCATION ENROLLMENT
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Calif. 19,325
Cal State Fullerton Fullerton, Calif. 36,000
Cal State Northridge Northridge, Calif. 34,500
Long Beach State Long Beach, Calif. 35,559
UC Davis Davis, Calif. 31,426
UC Irvine Irvine, Calif. 27,000
UC Riverside Riverside, Calif. 18,083
UC Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, Calif. 20,847
Pacific Stockton, Calif. 6,235

SPORTS

Men (7): Baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field.

Women (9): Basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo.






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