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The Daily Aggie :: 08/19/10 :: WAC Conference Call Highights | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

The Daily Aggie :: 08/19/10 :: WAC Conference Call Highights

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The 80 minute teleconference just ended a few minutes ago. The WAC will be sending out a clarification on membership requirements (we're assuming as it pertains to automatic qualification for the NCAA championship tournaments).

We had hoped to take better notes but luckily for us there are a couple of good note takers who were listening. Visit Jon Wilner's blog at the San Jose Mercury News for all the highlights from today's press conference. But here are the key points:

* In opening statement, Benson calls moves by Nevada and Fresno State “selfish actions.”

* Thinks there’s an opportunity to structure an arrangement that would allow BYU to be part of the WAC in some form.

* Binding agreement introduced to WAC board a week ago Monday — knowing that if the BYU piece fell into place that the MWC might make a run at existing WAC members: “We took that action to deter a school from accepting an invitation from the Mountain West.

* WAC expects $5 million payments from Nevada and Fresno State within 60 days.

* On the departure penalty: “I wish at this time that I would have made it $20 million.”

* On the remaining members: “I believe strongly that the six schools that are left are in better shape than Boise State was when it joined the WAC in 2001.”

* “In my opinion, it was very clear that Fresno State and Nevada invitations a direct result of BYU’s interest in going independent and going into the WAC.”

* On Louisiana Tech jumping to C-USA: “We’ve known Conference USA would be a better geographic fit … Our dependency on Louisana Tech more of a priority. (It) has become an even more valuable member of the WAC.”

* Earliest WAC would add new members is 2012.

* Was the binding agreement actually signed? “There are seven signed agreements in a file in the WAC office.” (Nevada is the exception.) Remaining six schools are not bound by it. (due to the departure of Fresno State and Nevada)

There will be an audio replay available later today and of course multitudes of stories on both a national and school level. We'll post the link to the interview in this article and on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

UPDATE: Listen to the media teleconference here.

We'd also point you to our interview with Commissioner Benson back in June.

UPDATE:
Per Andy Katz (ESPN.com):
NCAA spokesperson David Worlock told ESPN.com that the WAC will keep its automatic bid to the NCAA tournament if it is a six-team league in 2012. Under NCAA rules, a conference has a two-year grace period to be a six-team league after it loses members. So that means if the WAC is at six teams in 2012-13 and 2013-14, it would have until 2015 to add a seventh member. The other rule is that the remaining six schools have to have been together for five continuous years. If Fresno State and Nevada get out of the WAC after 2010-11, the WAC would have 2012 and 2013 to be a six-team league before needing to add a seventh by 2014.