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UTSA Wants Into The WAC

UT-San Antonio won't actually play a football game for more than a year, but the Roadrunners are lobbying to become a member in the suddenly depleted Western Athletic Conference.

Earlier this summer Boise State announced that they were leaving the WAC for the Mountain West Conference. That move set off a game of musical chairs that hasn't slowed down.

Earlier this week BYU announced its intentions to go independent in football and rejoin the WAC for all other sports.

The Mountain West lost little time in responding by inviting Nevada and Fresno State to jump from the WAC and join Boise State. Those two schools quickly accepted.

With the defections, the WAC faces having only 6 football programs by 2012 -- two below the minimum to be a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) member.

UTSA athletic director Lynn Hickey said Thursday the school actively will pursue membership in the conference. The Roadrunners start FCS (D-1AA) play next year, but have always had being a FBS member as the central goal to building a football program from scratch.

UTSA hired Larry Coker as its head coach for the expressed purpose to direct the program to the D-1 level

The WAC, looking at having just six football programs — Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, Utah State, Idaho and San Jose State — wants to add at least two more teams.

Just up the road from UTSA, Texas State also has plans to move up to the D-1 level. The two programs must meet several requirements to move up.

1. Sponsor a minimum of 16 varsity intercollegiate sports, including football.

2. Annually offer a minimum of 200 athletic scholarships, or spend at least $4 million on scholarships.

3. Schedule at least 60 percent of its football games against FBS members, including five home games.

4. Average at least 15,000 fans for home games in at least one of two reclassification seasons.

5. Provide an average of at least 90 percent of the maximum number of football scholarships (85).

Texas State has plans to expand its stadium to at least 25,000 in the next few years.

WAC Commissioner Karl Benson said that the conference would begin evaluating candidates immediately. Benson said they would prefer to add FBS programs, but at this point, all "reasonable" candidates would be considered.