By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
There was no special celebration at Cal State Bakersfield on Monday, but it was a special day nonetheless for the Roadrunner athletic department.
CSUB officially joined the Western Athletic Conference on Monday (July 1 is the day that NCAA conference realignments become official), along with five other institutions in the new-look conference.
CSUB had been a Division I independent since beginning the move from NCAA Division II status in the fall of 2007.
Along the way, several of the Roadrunner sports offerings landed affiliate membership in various Division I conferences.
"Today is an important and exhilarating day for the WAC," said Commissioner Jeff Hurd in a statement. "We proudly welcome our six new members and look forward to the contributions each of them will bring to the conference."
Also officially joining the WAC on Monday were Chicago State, Texas-Pan American, Missouri-Kansas City, Utah Valley and Grand Canyon University, a former Division II rival of CSUB's in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
All institutions except Grand Canyon are immediately eligible to be WAC's representatives in the NCAA Tournament in all WAC sports offerings.
Grand Canyon is beginning its four-year transition to full Division I membership.
The six new members join returning members Seattle, New Mexico State and Idaho. Idaho will leave for the Big Sky in 2014.
CSUB baseball team was an affiliate member of the WAC last season. The Roadrunners' previous Division I independent sports programs now will have WAC schedules. Those programs were men's and women's basketball, volleyball and women's soccer.
CSUB's first home WAC game will be Sept. 22 when the women's soccer team hosts Utah Valley at 1 p.m.