If you check this here site on even a semi-regular basis, you’ve no doubt read by now that the WAC appears to be on its last leg as programs left and right are reportedly nearing a mass exodus.
Future WAC members Texas State and UT-San Antonio, as well as current members Louisiana Tech, Utah State and San Jose State, have all been connected, in one form or another, to moves to Conference USA, the Mountain West and the Sun Belt*.
(*That’s how you know things are bad)
So while there is undoubtedly a lot of moving parts behind the scenes, the WAC issued the following statement today, courtesy of interim WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd:
“The Western Athletic Conference Board of Directors is well aware of the changing landscape in Division I athletics and has been in discussion about it for the last several weeks. Further, it continues to evaluate the impact upon the WAC and is closely engaged in evaluating its membership options. It will not speculate relative to those options, but it has confidence that the WAC will maintain its more than 50-year history as a preeminent Division I conference.”
Additionally, New Mexico State released this statement:
“The national conference situation is a changing landscape and the administration on campus is doing their duediligence to secure a plan for the future. I don’t think anyone can project what the end game will be within the next 90 days or even a year or two down the road. It is so easy to look at this as the sky is falling but in reality a lot of conversations are happening about conference affiliation. We remain extremely optimistic and committed to the future of NM State Athletics.”
And here’s one from Idaho:
“Conference realignment has been a major story in college athletics for several years now. A growing appetite for more funding and a steady flow of television and other media dollars feeding that appetite has resulted in conference alignments and realignments. That uncertainty continues today.
“Over the past several weeks, President Nellis and director of athletics Rob Spear have worked actively to advocate for the University during this recent shift in conference realignment. We are disappointed in the recent changes that are driven not by tradition, academic quality, competitiveness, or the student experience, but by money.
“Our student-athletes continue high rates of success on and off the field. The Vandals currently are atop the Western Athletic Conference Commissioner’s Cup standings and have been rewarded often for their academic successes.
“We believe our strong presence in the Northwest media markets is being overlooked during this crucial evaluation period. We are a presence in both the Spokane and Boise media markets, which extends our reach throughout the entire Inland Northwest.
“As we anticipate future conference movement, we continue to believe strongly that athletes are students first and the experience for them and our fans is first and foremost. We will continue to work diligently to most strongly position the University of Idaho.”