Report: UTSA to join Conference USA, likely in 2013

By Kevin Kelley -

UTSA RoadrunnersThe UTSA Roadrunners are set to join Conference USA, likely in 2013, has reported.

UTSA just completed their inaugural football season as an FCS Independent. In 2012, they are stepping up to the Football Bowl Subdivision and will compete in the WAC.

The Roadrunners will be on the move again in 2013 to Conference USA according to the Agenda for next week’s University of Texas System Board of Regents.

On page 137 of the report is the following:

5. U. T. San Antonio: Authorization to accept invitation from Conference USA and to negotiate and finalize terms for athletic conference membership, including possible future membership in a new athletic conference.


The Chancellor concurs in the recommendation of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs ad interim, the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, and President Romo that authorization be granted to The University of Texas at San Antonio to accept an invitation from Conference USA (CUSA) to become a member, and to negotiate and finalize terms for athletic conference membership. Approval of U. T. San Antonio’s entrance in CUSA also includes approval of admittance to the potential new conference.

The document continues with background information about UTSA’s discussions with CUSA and the potential merger with the Mountain West. CUSA contacted UTSA in March 2012 “to initiate discussion about the possibility of U.T. San Antonio leaving the WAC to join CUSA.” UTSA then met with CUSA commissioner Britton Banowsky on April 5, 2012.

Sources told Brett McMurphy of that Conference USA is also looking to add FIU and North Texas from the Sun Belt and Louisiana Tech from the WAC.

CBS Sports also reports that the Mountain West is likely to add San Jose State and Utah State in 2013. That could spell the end of the WAC.

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Comments (7)

The WAC should be able to survive as a non-football league, but if I’m Idaho, New Mexico State, or Texas State this is bad news for me. Sure, Texas State has been discussed as a Sun Belt member, though they’d probably prefer CUSA so they can stay with UTSA and North Texas. Those 3 would be good travel partners with Louisiana Tech as well. If UTEP is truly headed to the MWC from CUSA, they’ll need another program to be at 12 teams, and Texas State would probably be the easiest of those teams to get. Just like UTSA, they’re in a transition phase from FCS to FBS, so they could get out of the WAC without the penalty fee.

Now that leaves Idaho and New Mexico State. Honestly I have no idea where these two would end up, but they can’t survive with the Independent route. Both would probably be better off in the MWC, especially New Mexico State if New Mexico and UTEP are both there. Getting Idaho would keep the Idaho TV market for the MWC, though I’m sure they aren’t necessarily focusing on that. I just can’t see Idaho dropping from FBS to FCS, otherwise the Big Sky would be a possibility.

As far as the WAC goes, with Seattle, Denver, UT-Arlington, and Boise State (outside of football) left, they should look at getting the Great West teams into the conference. Utah Valley, Chicago State, NJIT, North Dakota, and Texas-Pan America aren’t ideal options, but they would get the conference to the 8 teams needed to maintain NCAA Qualifying status, and it would provide some travel partner arrangements (though some would be spread out quite a ways- Utah Valley & Boise State and UT-Arlington and Texas-Pan America would be the two most ideal travel arrangements. Chicago State and NJIT would work, leaving Denver and Seattle as the final two. They could also put Boise with Seattle and Utah Valley with Denver if they wanted terms of closeness, but Utah Valley & Boise are probably the closest after the two Texas schools). Since not all of those schools play baseball, NYIT could be brought along for baseball from the Great West causing that conference to dissolve instead of the WAC, and there are still 2 independents (Cal State Bakersfield and Longwood) that need homes for all sports.

Pretty good pick up for C-USA. Strong fanbase/attendance for such a new program and located in a major market. Along with North Texas, this allows C-USA to maintain a good presence in Texas after the departures of Houston and SMU to the Big East.

All UTSA did was leak their Regents Report or something similar. All candidates that have been asked probably prepared and delivered a similar report, just didn’t leak it, and I’m thinking C USA didn’t appreciate it very much. I’d even go so far to say the formats are probably very similar.

UTSA did not leak the regents report the Board Regents are required to post their minutes for past and upcoming meetings. So the story was not leaked just released sooner than expected do to SOP. Plus the news of this has been kept pretty well considering.

Remember when the WAC was a 16-team super conference? I guess a little ahead of their time.