Thursday, August 19, 2010

Commissioner Karl Benson And His Conference Getting A WAC Job From Inside

I'm willing to bet Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson has had better weeks. Hell Wednesday was a roller coaster ride of epic proportions.

The day started with rumors flying that BYU might be coming back to the WAC in all sports but football but would play some schools in the league. According to Benson those discussions have been going on since July. Then the day ended with WAC members Nevada and Fresno State accepting invitations from the Mountain West Conference, the league BYU is rumored to bolt.

Well Benson is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Thursday Benson decided to rant about Nevada's and Fresno State's departure during a conference call.

In his opening statement Benson called the moves by Nevada and Fresno State "selfish actions", basically killing an agreement between the WAC members to bring BYU back in every sport but football.

”The other six WAC board members were under the belief that the action taken by the eight schools last Friday indicated a willingness to move this forward knowing the potential outcome would have included BYU and would have stabilized the WAC." Benson said in today's teleconference. "On Friday, there was expressed solidarity and four days later there was a departure.”

Since Nevada and Fresno State took action to leave the WAC following the 2010-11 academic year after the July 1st deadline they owe $5 million and the commish expects to be paid within 60 days.

Benson added,“I wish at this time that I would have made it $20 million.”

So what does Benson think of Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson?

“Craig (Thompson) has a job to do, and I have a job to do … I don’t look at it as necessarily predatory. In today’s intercollegiate environment, it has become fairly routine.”

I'm willing to bet Benson wants to kick Thompson's backside right now.

According to Benson though the WAC won't get "WACed" The conference will target schools from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Football Championship Subdivision (the ole 1-AA) for membership. Some of the schools rumored to be on the radar screen:

Texas State
Texas-San Antonio
Sacramento State
Cal Poly
North Texas

Those of us in the OSG HQ have the following advice to Karl Benson: Fold up the tents. The WAC is an afterthought at best and adding a few Texas schools and some very un-attractive California schools is just applying lip stick on a pig. Sorry to say it but the WAC's days are numbered. Oh what memories.

Here's Fresno State's announcement on joining the MWC (Thanks KFSN-TV Fresno, CA)

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