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Texas-Arlington to Join WAC

Jul
11
2011
By
Category: Featured News, NCAA Conference Expansion & Realignment, Southland Expansion & Realignment, WAC Expansion & Realignment

wac medium Texas Arlington to Join WACUniversity of Texas Arlington Texas Arlington to Join WACDespite 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:

Seattle
Idaho
SJSU
Utah St.
Denver
NMSU
UTSA
Texas St.
Texas-Arlington
Louisiana Tech

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.

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  • Michael in Indy

    Can someone explain UTA’s incentive to join the WAC? It just seems like the Southland makes more sense for them, regardless of the WAC’s more recognizable name.

    – UTA cannot get money from football TV contracts or bowl appearances without a football program of its own. Even if it could, the WAC’s next TV contract in football will probably not improve at all, even in this favorable economic climate for college sports TV contracts, because all of the quality programs are gone. Short of a miraculous improvement in football by one of the WAC’s current members, UTA won’t be receiving any money from a WAC team’s appearance in a BCS bowl, either. Appearances by non-BCS league members will probably come from the Mountain West or C-USA.

    – UTA probably can expect a huge hit for the WAC’s basketball television contract as well. Utah State is the only decent basketball program. Idaho, La. Tech, the Texas schools, NMSU, San Jose State, Seattle, and Denver–it’s not a collection that gets TV executives any more excited than the Southland.

    – At least in the Southland, UTA could enjoy pretty low travel costs.

  • http://matt.peloquin.info Matt Peloquin

    Time will tell. On paper, WAC wants Dallas access. Surely can’t be an issue of passing on Lamar and SHSU who have football while UTA just spent a ton on a new arena but only draw 1k fans. If UTA adds football in 2016, it’s a help. If Montana and MSU join within the year, then adding UTA allows for a 6/6 split with LA tech, UTA, utsa, Tex St., NMSU and Denver in the east.

  • http://twitter.com/peternyehuntjr Peter Hunt

    Is this a good move?

  • http://matt.peloquin.info Matt Peloquin

    Talks have progressed and yes, both schools in Montana would make the move.

  • http://collegesportsinfo.com/?fcsite=07531349300966438706&fcprofile=10305030939827057967 Nathan Brice

    Montana and Montana State have to be packaged together. That is just how the politics are up there. I am not sure if Montana wants to go to the WAC yet, however.

  • http://matt.peloquin.info Matt Peloquin

    It looks like Montana and Montana St. are the next in line for all sports. So it would be 9 football/12 other sports. Leaves Lamar and SHsU on the outside unless 11/14 is in the works.

  • http://twitter.com/kromclovinfasho Mike ‘Kro’ Kroboth

    Why is the WAC not adding football schools when they are at risk of dissolving?

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