Nearly three months after the University of Hawaii held a press conference to announce it would leave the Western Athletic Conference, the WAC is still waiting for written confirmation of UH’s intended departure in 2012.
WAC commissioner Karl Benson said he received phone messages on Dec. 10, 2010, that UH planned to join the Mountain West Conference in football and the Big West in most other sports for 2012.
But as of late week he said no written confirmation had yet been received from UH. The WAC has requested Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, a member of the WAC Board of Directors, supply written confirmation to clear any possible legal hurdles for the future.
"We have not received any written declaration," Benson said. "(The WAC bylaws) don’t say whether it must be written or not."
Benson surmised, "The phone call I received (on Dec. 10) probably satisfies the requirement."
The WAC Bylaws state, "any members may withdraw from the conference by filing with each of the other members and with the commissioner of the conference on or before July 1 of any year an official notice of withdrawal, in which event the withdrawal shall be effective the following June 30. …"
Fellow WAC members Fresno State and Nevada, who will join UH in the MWC in 2012, both made written declarations to the WAC office and the remaining conference members within a week of their Aug. 18, 2010, announcements.
Fresno State’s Aug. 20 letter to the WAC states, "it has been a very difficult decision to leave the conference at this time but we feel that it is in the best long-term interests of our athletic program and the university."
As part of the penalty for departure the three schools will forfeit most of their share of WAC year-end disbursements for the 2011-12 school year.
UH received a $950,796 payout for 2009-10, more than $700,000 of which would be forfeited under departure terms had UH left that year.