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Seattle will join WAC in 2012, as UH leaves

By Ferd Lewis


The Western Athletic Conference's impending loss of the University of Hawaii turned out to be Seattle University's gain Tuesday.

The Redhawks will join the WAC as a non-football member July 1, 2012, the date the University of Hawaii departs, it was announced.

"When (UH) announced its departure from the WAC in December, that put us in a different environment and, I think, that allowed Seattle U. to surface as the best possible scenario available for us," WAC commissioner Karl Benson said during a press conference.

Seattle, which had been petitioning the WAC since 2007, will become the ninth member and second non-football school in the conference for 2012. Utah Valley and Cal State Bakersfield, which were also under consideration, did not receive invitations.

With the departure by Boise State next month, followed by the exit of UH, Fresno State and Nevada in 2012, the WAC will have nine members, seven of them football-playing schools in 2012. Holdovers Idaho, New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State and Utah State will be joined by Texas State and Texas-San Antonio. Denver will become the other as a basketball-only member.

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