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Dr. Saturday

UT-Arlington could be WAC’s newest member by week’s end

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NM State

So you thought expansion was over, eh?

Nope. The WAC won't let it die.

According to a report on BleedCrimson.net and BobcatReport.com, the WAC has extended an offer to Texas-Arlington, a non-football school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that currently competes in the Southland Conference.

To say the move is surprising would be an understatement especially with the backlash the conference took from some of its members regarding the decision to add non-football member Seattle last month.

"We weren't as enthusiastic (about it) as some of the other schools," Louisiana Tech athletic director Bruce Van De Velde said. "We felt they should have added a football-playing school and we encouraged them to do so. We feel they should be looking to add a team in the Central time zone if Louisiana Tech is to remain in the WAC.

"The face of the WAC is changing with three teams now in the CST. And we think football should be the priority in adding schools."

UTA had football from 1959-85 and went 129-150-2 during that span. The team closed down the football program because of financial reasons, though there have been grassroots efforts to start it back up again.

The invitation to the WAC is not contingent on UTA adding football, but it would definitely be a bonus. UTA does have a 12,500-seat football stadium, which is mostly used for high school events.

The Texas System Board of Regents will vote Thursday whether to approve UT-Arlington leaving. The agenda for the meeting states that WAC commissioner Karl Benson extended the offer on June 5. Benson was on the UTA campus on June 29 to visit with university president James Spaniolo and athletic director Pete Carlon.

If the board approves the move, the Mavericks will join the WAC on July 1, 2012.

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