College

Friday, Dec 10 2010 04:51 PM

Big West passes on CSUB, invites Hawaii instead

BY JEFF EVANS, Californian staff writer jevans@bakersfield.com

The Big West Conference has spoken, and the answer is "no" to Cal State Bakersfield's bid for membership.

The BWC has added the University of Hawaii, effective July 1, 2012, for 13 sports. Hawaii's football team will join the Mountain West Conference.

Hawaii was the only university invited to join the BWC. CSUB remains an NCAA Division I independent.

"I was informed today by the Big West Conference commissioner that the conference has invited Hawaii to join the Big West and they have accepted," CSUB President Horace Mitchell said in a statement. "The selection was not unexpected since that has been an anticipated outcome by many since the (BWC membership) moritorium was lifted.

"The Big West Conference is one of several options CSU Bakersfield has been looking at over the past several months as there have been major shifts in institutional alignment with a number of athletic conferences.

"We will continue to pursue other options, and we expect to achieve a conference affiliation within the current academic year."

BWC Commissioner Dennis Farrell was out of the office Friday afternoon and not available for comment.

Hawaii's women's program was a BWC member from 1984-96 before joining its men's program in the Western Athletic Conference.

Hawaii becomes the 10th member of the BWC.

Hawaii is the latest team to announce it's leaving the WAC. Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State earlier announced they were leaving the WAC for the Mountain West in all sports.

Remaining WAC members are San Jose State, Idaho, New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech and Utah State. Texas-San Antonio and Texas State, along with non-football playing Denver, will join the WAC on July 1, 2012.

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