Thursday, November 26, 2015         


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WAC poised to add 3 new schools tomorrow

By Ferd Lewis


A reshaping of the Western Athletic Conference could begin tomorrow with signs pointing to the addition of as many as three new members: the University of Texas-San Antonio, Texas State and Denver.

The WAC is apparently waiting for the University of Texas System Board of Regents to approve UTSA's move from the Southland Conference before an announcement of multiple schools is made. The board begins meeting today and WAC members have been alerted by the conference office to expect an announcement "either Thursday or Friday."

A UTSA spokesman said its president, Ricardo Romo, is scheduled to go before the board tomorrow morning in Austin. The posted agenda lists "discussion and appropriate action regarding legal issues concerning athletic conference membership."

Southland Conference commissioner Thomas Burnett said in an e-mail that he has been in contact with the WAC about the move of UTSA and Texas State and "we expect an announcement soon."

Addition of UTSA and Texas State in most sports plus Denver as a non-football member would give the WAC nine basketball and eight football members for the 2012-13 season, barring further changes.

They would replace Fresno State and Nevada, who are scheduled to leave the WAC June 30, 2012. Boise State departs June 30, 2011.

The WAC accelerated its expansion plans in an effort to have eight members, the NCAA minimum, for 2012-13, and to answer membership questions heading into the upcoming recruiting period.

The WAC also is awaiting word from Montana, which has been conducting a feasibility study and installed a new president three weeks ago. A Montana spokesman said, "I think a decision will be made in the next few weeks."

Seattle University also has been under consideration as a non-football member. All but Montana made September presentations to the WAC Membership Committee in Dallas.

UTSA, Texas State and Montana are not members of the Football Bowl Subdivision but, if they address requirements, including the addition of 22 more football scholarships, could be classified FBS for the 2012 football season.

Texas State is located in San Marcos, part way between Austin and San Antonio, and has an enrollment of 30,803. UTSA has an enrollment of 30,300 and Denver 11,600.

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