DENVER, Colo. — Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson announced that an invitation for membership has been issued to and accepted by Texas at Arlington to join the conference effective July 1, 2012. With the addition, the WAC will consist of 10 full-time members for the 2012-13 season; Denver (non-football), Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Seattle (non-football), Texas State, UT-Arlington (non-football), UTSA and Utah State.
“We are very pleased to add UT-Arlington as the 10th member of the WAC for 2012,” Benson said. “Besides bringing top level academics to the league, the addition will provide a geographical balance to the WAC and help in the creation of travel partners as we attempt to further expand to two six-team divisions in the future.”
“UT-Arlington and the Dallas-Fort Worth region also bring in another top-20 media market to go along with the recent additions of Seattle and Denver. The addition will significantly help the WAC in securing more lucrative television rights fees in the future,” Benson said.
UT-Arlington, currently a member of the Southland Conference, was founded in 1895 and now has an enrollment of nearly 34,000 students. It is the second-largest university in the UT system. The Mavericks sponsor 14 intercollegiate sports that will compete in the WAC — baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field and women’s volleyball.
UT-Arlington’s move to the WAC coincides with the first full season of volleyball and basketball to be played in the university’s new College Park Center, a 6,500-seat, split bowl arena. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have competed recently in the NCAA basketball tournament with the men last appearing in 2008 and the women in 2007. The volleyball team had its most successful season in 1989 when it advanced the national semifinals.