Finding A Conference Is Important, But The WAC Is Less Than Ideal For Seattle U

We know the benefits of Seattle University joining a conference and the biggest ones are probably financial.

Right now, that is exactly why the WAC would probably be the wrong choice for Seattle University even if they were offered an invite.

With Hawaii reportedly leaving to join the Mountain West as a football-only institution while relocating all other programs to the Big West, the WAC is on the brink of irrelevance, as described by Graham Watson of AOL Fanhouse.

WAC Waits on Hawaii -- NCAAFB FanHouse
With Hawaii, the WAC has nine total members for the 2012 season -- eight in football and nine in basketball -- all of which are considered "core" members. However, according to the NCAA Division I bylaws, a conference needs to have six "core" members that have played together for five consecutive seasons in men's basketball in order to maintain an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Regardless of whether Hawaii plays football only or leaves altogether, as long as basketball is not part of the arrangement, the WAC will lose its automatic men's basketball bid for five years minus a two-year grace period as long as the conference membership stays at six.

Benson expects the NCAA to reexamine the rules on continuity of membership.

 

As mentioned in Watson's article, the WAC has considered both Seattle U and North Texas as potential candidates for expansion. All reports are that Seattle U is not yet off the table and given where they are now - and particularly if Hawaii leaves - the WAC will have to do something.

At some point, the WAC might be forced to invite schools like Seattle U and North Texas into the fold. But at this point, it's difficult to understand why a school would accept an invite into a struggling conference on the brink of losing significant revenue streams.

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