Fresno State President John D. Welty and Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh addressed the formation of a new athletic conference announced by Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference. The new conference will consist of 18 to 24 teams, spanning five time zones and a national scope from the Atlantic Seaboard to Hawaii.
Fresno State, already scheduled to join the Mountain West in 2012-13, will be included in the newly-formed conference, along with fellow WAC members Nevada and Hawaii.
The announcement is the first step in a lengthy process, said President Welty.
Welty said he will meet with other university presidents and chancellors over the next six months to finalize the issues essential to the formation of the association.
The 16 teams currently involved in discussions are: the United States Air Force Academy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Colorado State University, East Carolina University, Fresno State, University of Hawaii, Marshall University, University of Nevada, Reno, University of New Mexico, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Rice University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Texas at El Paso, Tulane University, University of Tulsa and University of Wyoming. The participation in the new conference would involve all sports from the universities with the exception of Hawaii, which will be competing as a football-only member.
According to the Mountain West, the structure of the new conference would include a championship football format with semifinal match-ups, a championship basketball tournament, and regular season scheduling in divisions.