Back in 2007 when Seattle University was preparing to transition back to Division I, the WCC elected not to expand to allow the Redhawks back in.
Seattle University - University News (March 07, 2007)
This week Seattle University was informed by West Coast Conference Commissioner Mike Gilleran that the presidents of the WCC's eight member universities have decided not to expand conference membership now or in the foreseeable future. The decision means that Seattle University's present discussion of possibly rejoining the WCC is off the table.
However, as described by The Slipper Still Fits, with BYU joining the WCC, that original reasoning given for excluding Seattle U seems to deteriorate a little and the Redhawks are suddenly a strong candidate as a 10th team. And there is one additional piece of information that adds to the notion that Seattle U is a strong candidate: their women's golf team was recently added to the WCC.
From a WCC press release on August 26th:
WCC Women's Golf Adds Seattle University As Affiliate Member - WCC OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- The West Coast Conference announced today the addition of Seattle University as an affiliate member in the sport of women's golf, beginning with the 2010-11 season. "We are pleased to have Seattle University become a West Coast Conference affiliate member in women's golf," WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said. "Seattle University shares a common mission and values with our member schools, and we're excited to add an affiliate member in a sport that continues to expand its profile nationally."
Obviously, adding women's golf is not a guarantee of anything. But if the original reasoning given for not adding Seattle U seems to be changing and there is already some acknowledgement that "Seattle University shares a common mission and values" with WCC members, why not add Seattle U?
Well, for one, women's golf is not exactly the type of high-profile sport that makes a school attractive to add. Second, people such as Gonzaga University's Mark Few don't necessarily seem ecstatic about the idea of adding a transitioning Division I school that was competitive last year, but still a sub-150 RPI school for the time being.
Mark Few won't support low RPI expansion - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
In other words, Few would have come out against the idea of bringing back Seattle to the WCC. Seattle might be a faith-based West Coast institution, but it remains a transitioning Division I program currently playing as an independent.
So that means no Denver? What about Pacific?
However, with first-year Seattle U men's basketball coach Cameron Dollar generating something of a buzz in the area last season by bringing in NBA-hopeful Charles Garcia and playing for an outside shot at a post-season tournament, the question might be whether the WCC would rather wait for the program to develop (along with Denver or Pacific) instead of accepting the program now on potential.