Monday, July 28, 2014         

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UC Davis, Cal Poly to join Big Sky

By Ferd Lewis


Two schools that had been mentioned as possible expansion candidates for the Western Athletic Conference, UC Davis and Cal Poly, signaled their intention to remain at the Football Championship Subdivision level yesterday.

Each announced plans to join the Big Sky Conference for football in 2012 or '13 and keep their other sports in the Big West. They have been members of the Great West Conference in football.

Greg Warzecka, UC Davis athletic director, said the Aggies plan to remain "FCS in football for the foreseeable future" rather than seek membership in the Football Bowl Subdivision, where Hawaii and the WAC are.

Alison E. Cone, Cal Poly's AD, said the same holds true for the Mustangs.

The WAC, faced with the loss of Boise State in 2011 and Fresno State and Nevada in 2012, has been studying expansion options for 2012 and '13.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson declined comment and UH athletic director Jim Donovan said, "We'll continue to explore our options and collect information."

The addition of the two California schools bolsters the Big Sky in case Montana decides to move to the WAC.

Montana, Portland State, Sacramento State, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State remain the most likely candidates for WAC expansion. All are FCS members and would have to be invited by the WAC to begin what would be at least a two-year process for FBS membership.

The NCAA currently has a moratorium on movement to the FBS.

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