DENVER – One week after announcing the acceptance of membership invitations, Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Jeff Hurd announced that the official join date for Abilene Christian University, Lamar University, Sam Houston State University and Stephen F. Austin State University has been moved up to July 1, 2021.
The change in date was made at the request of the four Texas institutions after the Southland Conference voted to expediate their entrance from the conference from 2022 to 2021. The WAC Board of Directors unanimously voted to move up the entry date.
“The WAC is excited to have the opportunity to welcome four of our five new institutions to the conference a year earlier than anticipated,” said Hurd. “The level of excitement in Houston last week was wonderful and we are pleased to be able to officially bring the institutions in to the league for the next academic year.”
Southern Utah University, who was the fifth school to accept a membership invitation last week, will keep its entry date as July 1, 2022. In addition, it is expected that Chicago State University, who last week announced its intention to voluntarily leave the WAC by June 30, 2022, will remain a part of the conference for the 2021-22 academic year.
Men’s and women’s basketball will feature both divisional and crossover play with the number of conference games to be played still to be determined. Football will include full conference play. All other sports that feature a regular season are expected to begin divisional play.
Administrators from all involved institutions will work with the conference office to finalize divisional alignment, scheduling and championships for the upcoming season and beyond.