Saturday, November 28, 2015         


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More schools than UH looking at Big West

By Ferd Lewis


The University of Hawaii isn't the only school knocking on the Big West Conference's door seeking membership, commissioner Dennis Farrell said.

"Hawaii is just one of them," he said.

UH is seeking membership for its football team in the Mountain West Conference for 2012-13 and hopes to place other sports in the Big West.

Farrell said, "there have been a number of conversations with Jim (Donovan, UH athletic director) over many months."

The Big West last week lifted its five-year moratorium on new members and Farrell said three schools, including UH, have contacted him. He said Cal State Bakersfield is one but declined the reveal the other California-based institution.

The conference hasn't added a new member since 2001-02. The nine-member, non-football-playing conference stretches from Orange County to the Sacramento area, and its council will begin considering new members on Dec. 8. Farrell said schools have been asked to submit information by Dec. 1.

The council may make a recommendation to the board of directors for action.

Farrell said, it is "premature to speculate upon" how many members the Big West might admit or when an expansion vote might take place.

The MWC is expected to make an official determination on UH by the end of the year, pending conclusion of negotiations, although a spokesman said "no timetable" had been established.

UH women's sports were members of the Big West and its predecessor, Pacific Coast Athletic Association, from 1985 to 1995.

The current Big West membership is Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo), Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and University of the Pacific.

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