So everyone is talking about these WAC rumors. Well this isn’t a rumor. This is straight from the horse’s mouth. But the ambiguity leads to more rumors.
This video is a Q/A with WAC Commish Jeff Hurd at the WAC Football Media Day. I typed up some of the highlights:
No WAC Football (as a conference) in 2013
“We have gone east coast to west coast looking at options in various degrees of detail. And the bottom line is as we sit here today, I don’t believe personally that FBS football, as a conference, is feasible for 2013. Those avenues have been explored and the bottom line guys is I mean it’s just not there. It’s just not there for 2013…There simply aren’t enough schools available. We would need to have a minimum of 6 to, you have to have 8 FBS level, or 8 institutions that are moving to the FBS level, and there simply isn’t 6 of them available.”
WAC Football in 2014 of 2015? Maybe.
“I don’t know the answer to that. I wouldn’t rule it out. From our standpoint if we can figure out a way to buy a little bit of time and allow institutions that are interested in moving to the FBS level do so sometime in the 2012-2013 year then we will.”
Timeline for WAC Additions-Mid-August Maybe
“I can’t tell you what that day is…We need to make a decision, and we need to make it fairly soon….There is a sense of urgency. Not a specific date. In my mind, we needed to have it done by June 30 and we didn’t…The next date in my mind is we have about a 30 day window to make a decision, that puts us into early to mid August as a time frame…We’re holding off because the options that we believe are there either we believe we haven’t gone through them completely or they have gone away.
FCS-FBS Additions to the WAC-June 1 Deadline
“There are institutions that are, at least in the consideration stage, of moving to that level. (FCS to FBS). The key would be is that decision made in the 2012-2013 season. And specifically it would have to be made before June 1 for their calendar to start to move to the FBS level.”
Boise State Intends to Pursue Big West Membership (non-football)
“I personally don’t rule it out (Boise State staying in the WAC), but I think from a planning standpoint I have to take the approach that Boise State’s intent is to be in the Big West.”
Specific Schools That Will Be Invited & Travel Costs
“I will not speak about specific schools in any form. We have not extended invitations to ANY schools…Travel cost is always an issue, cost of operation is an issue, but the other side of that coin is that we have to sustain the conference…While it’s a factor it’s a secondary factor to sustaining the conference.”
On Potential Merger with Big Sky-Unlikely
Doug (Big Sky Commish) and I have had, over the course of the last oh 6 to 8 weeks I would say, several conversations related to that. I will say that it’s probably lost momentum in the last you know week or so. I’d say that it’s more unlikely than likely to happen…We never were in a discussion about a merger. We were in a discussion about a concept and how the WAC and the Big Sky could help each other from one maintaining two automatic qualifications in the west, not just in basketball, but for other team sports…How we could make some sense of some scheduling ideas. How we could combine resources…It never reached the point where we were talking about school A, B, or C moving to the WAC or school A, B, or C moving to the Big Sky…I think there are just too many issues there…At this point it’s just unlikely to happen.
And for what it’s worth, this JMU Rivals writer seems to think the JMU to WAC rumors are bogus (I do too.):
Georgia Southern’s AD flat-out said he would turn down a WAC invite. Delaware has pretty much made it clear recently that they are committed to the CAA.
When you factor all of that in, the only nearby schools that are still possibilities are Jacksonville State and Liberty. I’m not sure if that’s enough to make it a good deal for us. I seriously doubt we’ll be playing in the WAC in the next decade, but what do I know.
According to the Anniston Star, Jacksonville State is basically denying a move to the WAC is likely in the near future:
“It doesn’t have any traction,” JSU athletics director Warren Koegel said Friday. “We’re in the Ohio Valley Conference. We’re going to stay in the Ohio Valley Conference. The only thing I can tell you is a couple years ago our board made statements that they’d look at opportunities at what may be available, but right now there’s nothing concrete that’s available.”