Texas-Arlington to Join WAC
Despite the lack of football sponsorship, Texas-Arlington is expected to join the WAC as early as this week. The conference and the school have had informal discussions over the past few months. But in recent weeks, things have heated up with a formal invitation issued last week. UTA is set to vote on the matter on 7/14, with all signs pointing to the school accepting the invitation.
The path of the WAC over the past few months has been an interesting one. It appeared that they were straying from further expansion into Texas, holding off on putting more pressure on schools like Lamar and Sam Houston St. who have considered upgrading to FBS football. The WAC did opt to add Seattle, a non-football members. Texas-Arlington will be the third non-football member once they formally accept, giving the conference 10 total members, 7 of which are football members. As has been the case recently, Utah Valley remains on the outside of the WAC, a conference they were hoping to be extended an invitation.
Upon formally accepting, the WAC will be comprised of:
Texas-Arlington is a school that has considered adding football. But it would be some time until they would have the assumed necessary revenues to justify adding the sport.
The Southland Conference continues to find itself in a tough spot. With a departure of UTA, that would be the third Southland school from Texas to depart. And with others like Lamar and SHSU potentially defecting down the road, that conference will need to consider replacements sooner than they expect. Houston Baptist recently got on the radar when they announced they’d like to sponsor football, making the Southland a logical fit. Other options could include Oral Roberts, a non-football member. UALR might also be an option is they ever opted to leave the Sun Belt. And any of the regional D2 schools would be considered as well.