After coming so close a year ago only to be rejected, the Western Athletic Conference has officially extended an invite to Utah Valley University for membership. According Neil Warner of the Daily Herald, “a source close to the school’s athletic department” broke the news early Friday afternoon.
It’s rumored on Facebook and around campus the school has a press conference scheduled for Oct. 9 in the UCCU Center. The press conference will hopefully reveal more information along with an official statement from the school in regards to the WAC invitation.
The timing seemed to make sense for the school. UVU Athletic Director Mike Jacobsen has worked for an invite into a larger conference this past. Last year’s Sports Editor for the UVU Review, Matt Petersen, reported that Utah Valley was rejected and denied an invite into the WAC, following which, the conference accepted Seattle University to fill the spot.
Jacobsen seemed to be dropping hints to the UVU Review earlier last week in regards to the invitation, specifically during an interview with sports contributor Garrett Coleman and news contributor Tyler Gray.
“I’m convinced that in a very, very short period of time, we’re all going to be getting together and having a press conference and be very, very excited about a big, all-sports conference that UVU is going to be a part of, “ Jacobsen said.
Following the news on Friday afternoon, Jacobsen’s statement seems to be clearly talking about the conference change.
Utah Valley will be leaving the Great West Conference and will begin play in the WAC for the 2013 season. The GWC current teams include Chicago State University, Houston Baptist University, NJIT, and University of Texas-Pan America.
Also joining the WAC in the 2013 season will be Cal St. Bakersfield. UVU and Cal St. will be joining Idaho, Denver, Seattle and New Mexico State.
Utah Valley is no stranger to GWC Championships. If the performance can be matched in the WAC then UVU could be seeing a first ever NCAA tournament bid, something that comes automatically as a WAC Champion.
Calls were made to the athletics department on campus but no further information was given.
“We are not commenting right now on anything and I can’t confirm anything right now,” said Clint Burgi, Assistant AD for Sports Information. “We are still working everyday as per usual. We have obviously been in contact with the WAC. It’s our goal to join a conference like the WAC.”
He continued, “We saw Neil’s article and we are running with it but we cannot confirm anything.”