Thursday, November 26, 2015         

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Hawaii one of three schools looking to join Big West

By Ferd Lewis


The University of Hawaii is expected to be one of three schools applying to join the Big West Conference when the league begins evaluating expansion.

UH and Cal State Bakersfield have talked openly of their desire for membership, and speculation is that UC San Diego may also seek a place in the conference.

The Big West lifted its moratorium on expansion Nov. 16. The conference, which is composed entirely of California-based schools, last added a member in 2007-08, and commissioner Dennis Farrell said prospective members have been asked to have their paperwork in by Wednesday for review when the Big West Council meets Dec. 8.

The council is expected to make a recommendation to the Board of Directors, which is composed of members' chancellors and presidents.

UH is seeking to place most of its sports in the Big West while moving its football team into the Mountain West. Decisions on both moves could come between next week and early January, although both conferences say there is no firm timetable.

The non-football-playing Big West currently has nine members, and Farrell said the issue of how much the league might want to expand "is one of the key issues we need to address before we make any (expansion) moves."

Farrell, who has been with the conference for 31 years, the last 19 as commissioner, said, "during my tenure we've been everything from eight to 12, with the exception of 11."

He said a move to 12 would likely involve a move to a two-division format.

Cal State Bakersfield is a Division I independent primarily known for its basketball teams. UC San Diego is an NCAA Division II power in baseball.

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