Seattle U. left out of WAC expansion — for now
The Western Athletic Conference will extend invitations to Denver, Texas State and Texas-San Antonio on Thursday. Seattle U. remains hopeful of receiving an invitation from the WAC, but that might depend on whether Montana joins the conference.
Seattle Times staff reporter
While the Western Athletic Conference will apparently skip Seattle University when it issues invitations to three schools Thursday, Redhawks officials remain hopeful that they could join the conference in the future.
ESPN.com reported Wednesday afternoon that the WAC is expected on Thursday to invite the University of Denver, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State. Those schools will join for the 2012-13 school year, according to ESPN.com, and offset the departures of Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada to the Mountain West.
Texas-San Antonio and Texas State will join for all sports and Denver all sports but football.
Seattle U. has also hoped to join for all sports but football. But ESPN.com reported that the WAC is waiting to see if Montana will make the move up from the Big Sky. ESPN.com reported that Montana is expected to decide in the next few weeks and that "if the Grizzlies decide against the move then Seattle would likely step in with all sports except football."
Seattle U. athletic director Bill Hogan said Wednesday "we appreciate the fact that we are in the hunt. That's a significant opportunity, so we will keep plugging along and see where it lands."
Seattle U. made an official presentation to the WAC in late September.
"We were flattered to be contacted and offered to make a presentation to the WAC, and we feel good about our situation and our progress," Hogan said.
ESPN.com reported that if Montana accepts, then the WAC could be done expanding, with nine football members and 10 for men's basketball.
Hogan, though, said another possibility is that the WAC could expand again later and that "there could be 12 somewhere down the road."
Initial reports indicated that Seattle U. would be invited alongside Denver. Denver, however, might have been selected in this round because it is an established Division I school and a member of the Sun Belt Conference since 1999.
Seattle U. is in its second year as a full Division I school but would not be eligible for the NCAA basketball tournament until the 2012-13 season.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org