DU Gets WACked As Hawaii Bids Aloha

(above) Hawaii bids DU and the WAC conference farewell

Louisiana Tech
New Mexico State
Utah State
San Jose State
Texas-San Antonio
Texas State

It was nice while it lasted, but less than three days after DU's pomp and circumstance Press Conference joining the Western Athletic Conference, the best known conference member and easily the league's coolest road-trip is gone.

DU athletic honchos will undoubedly exhale a sigh of relief at the thought not having to pop for thousand dollar airfares and beachside hotel accommodations in Honolulu. But for DU athletes, parents and alums, not to mention bloggers, this sucks.

Hawaii's departure also means the the WAC no longer has "six members that have been in the conference for five consecutive years." In other words, no NCAA Automatic Bid, unless they can obtain a waiver.
After months of anxiety, the University of Hawaii's athletic future suddenly came into focus last night with the stunning revelation that it expects to leave the Western Athletic Conference to join the Mountain West Conference in football and place most of its other sports in the Big West Conference.

UH has been a member of the WAC, the only conference home its football team has had, for 32 years. Talks are still pending, but school officials left little doubt the move will be made for the 2012-13 season.

"We have no reason to believe this is not going to move on a positive trajectory and that we will not have the official announcement (of agreement)," an exultant UH President M.R.C. Greenwood said during an evening news conference at Bachman Hall.

The presidents of the Mountain West Conference member schools met yesterday by conference call and an MWC spokesman told the Star-Advertiser, "The Mountain West Conference Board of Directors has authorized Commissioner Craig Thompson to begin discussions with the University of Hawaii regarding possible membership in the sport of football only."


Brendan Loy said...

The news broke during last night's DU-CSU game. I saw it on Twitter while sitting on press row, and broke the news to Mike Kennedy (basketball SID) and Erich Bacher (director of media relations). I wish I had remembered that Karl Benson was going to be at the game! Maybe I could have broken the news to him, too! LOL! He reportedly found out during the game. I suppose he probably knew a few minutes before Twitter (and thus I) did, though. But I could have at least stalked him and been the first to ask him a question about it! Dammit! #journalismFAIL

Anyway... I can't believe this happened less than 24 hours after I wrote about the WAC's instability, in part due to the prospect that Hawaii might bail. Crazy.

Everyone seems to be assuming the NCAA will grant a waiver. Maybe so. But the NCAA is not known for consistently behaving in a manner that is logical and reasonable when it has discretion to make a decision. And how long will the waiver decision take? Can Utah State and Louisiana Tech, who have the best prospects of the remaining 5 members if they want/need to jump ship, afford to wait for the decision to be handed down? I don't think a three-core-team conference of Idaho, New Mexico State and San Jose State would have a very strong waiver case...

If the WCC still isn't interested, would the Sun Belt take DU back? LOL. #PANIC

Mike B said...

Not that I really care about the Tier 2 sports at DU (Basically everything but hockey), but was this even a good move for the school's athletic program? They are giving up the Sun Belt Conference to play in the WAC with collegiate power houses like NM State and Idaho? Really? Now that HI is leaving, what’s the point of being in the WAC? Plus, where does the lax team go? Are they going to stay in the ECAC?

Here is the break down:
Hockey - WCHA - Arguably the best league for D1 college hockey. The national championships prove that.
Lax - ECAC - makes sense for a team from Denver to play in an East Cost league & host the conference championships.
W LAX, Men’s soccer - MPSF - I don’t even know what that means. What the heck is a sports federation?
W Soccer, M/W Basketball, Tennis, Volleyball, S&D, Golf - Sun Belt
Skiing - RMISA? - huh?

The point is that DU has NO identity in college sports. Now they are joining a conference that looks like a sinking ship? What a sad state collegiate sports is in today. It’s absolutely all about TV packages and clothing rights...

Anonymous said...

Damnit, there goes our chances seeing DG in a hula skirt.

Anonymous said...

Now that Hawaii has moved, DU's transition to the WAC is a lateral move at best. They will save money on airfare, but the quality of opponents and the desire to see them hasn't improved. The conference has been decimated by defections and the only real appeal left is the WAC's once proud history. Too bad.

puck swami said...

No panic yet. It's still a good move for DU, as the opponents are western, rather than southern.

The WAC will find some other school (s) to fill UH's slot - it will be okay. Probably some Big Sky school, plus Seattle in hoops.

Only 10 of 17 DU sports are going to the WAC. Men's Soccer, Mens Swimming, hockey, Mens and Womens lacrosse and mens and women's skiiing will not to the WAC as those are not sponosored in that conference.

dggoddard said...

The problem for DU and the WAC isn't that Hawaii is leaving, its the inevitable consequences of who will leave next, because Hawaii left.