Sunday, July 31, 2011

More notes from WAC media conference

Some tidbit as to what WAC Commissioner Karl Benson addressed at the WAC media conference in Las Vegas, Nev. this past week.

• As covered before, the WAC will look to add two football playing schools, with talks beginning following the new year. Benson said if a school is added by June 1, 2012, it can play football in the conference for the 2013 season.

“Any current FBS school that's in our footprint, any current FCS school in our footprint, is in our pool of prospects,” he said.

Benson said the goal is to add two more by the 2013 season. It will be a seven-team league in 2012.

“Our football coaches are prepared to operate as a seven-team league in 2012 and there's a distinct possibility that could carry over another year,” he said.

Right now the league stands as a 10-team league, with seven football-playing schools. It sets up for a two-division format — New Mexico State, Texas-Arlington, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Louisiana Tech comprising an east or central region; Denver, Utah State, San Jose State, Idaho and Seattle University in the west.

• The 2011 football season will see a penalty assessed to teams for players celebrating prior to entering the endzone on a touchdown.

The touchdown will be denied and the points will be taken off the board. Endzone celebrations will be monitored as well but less stringently.

The WAC will also return to single officiating football crews for the 2011 season.

The last couple years officiating crews partnered with the WAC, Mountain West Conference, Conference USA, Big 12 and the Pac 12.

This year will see five crews work WAC games only.

• After having 16 games the ESPN networks last year the WAC will have somewhere around eight this season — five on ESPN or ESPN2 and two or three on ESPNU.

“We are contacted with them through 2017,” Benson said of ESPN. “They have the rights to re-negotiate. (With the) departure of Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii, they can revise existing contract in place.”

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