The WAC will drop football after the 2012 season, commissioner Jeff Hurd told The Denver Post this morning.
It’s possible that the conference could fold altogether if they are unable to add enough schools. In order to keep NCAA Division I status, the WAC must have seven members.
“I think that sometime in late July it became apparent that it was unlikely we could continue with football,” Hurd said. “We looked at every option we could think of. With the geography we have in terms of schools, it presents a challenge.”
Trouble began brewing for the conference after Boise State departed for the MWC in 2011, which was later followed by Fresno State, Hawaii, and Nevada announcing the same move for 2012.
The WAC scrambled to add Texas State and UTSA, but conference realignment hit the them hard again when four schools accepted offers from other conferences for the 2013 season. Texas State is heading to the Sun Belt, Louisiana Tech and UTSA are moving to C-USA, and San Jose State and Utah State are off to the MWC.
That left Idaho and New Mexico State as the only remaining football-playing members of the WAC. Idaho will likely opt to be an FBS Independent for a couple of years while New Mexico State’s future remains uncertain.
The WAC formed in 1962 with six members: Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Arizona and Arizona State left for the Pac-10 in 1978 while the remaining four members chartered the Mountain West in 1999.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, New Mexico State will travel to Texas State on Dec. 1 to play the final WAC football game.