Feb. 13, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. - The University of Wyoming is one of 16 universities that announced on Monday plans to form a new intercollegiate athletic association to begin competition in the 2013-14 academic year.
The announcement came after a meeting was held in Dallas on Sunday between the presidents and chancellors from the 16 universities. That meeting resulted in an agreement to begin work on formation of a new conference. The 16 universities are: United States Air Force Academy; University of Alabama at Birmingham; Colorado State University; East Carolina University; Fresno State University; University of Hawai'i; 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.
"This new alliance of universities is one that we feel is a very positive move for our university and our athletics program," said Tom Burman, University of Wyoming Athletics Director. "College athletics has seen a great deal of change these last several months. By aligning ourselves with this group of universities, we feel that it provides us greater stability moving forward. The details of how the new conference will operate are still being discussed, but we are enthusiastic about where this new conference positions us for the future."
In making the announcement, UNLV President Neal Smatresk made a statement on behalf of the presidents, "This is an exciting development that will stabilize the current conferences and create the first truly national conference with members in five time zones and television viewership from coast to coast. This partnership brings together like-minded institutions to improve the integrity and stability of intercollegiate athletics. We are moving our plans forward rapidly and expect to complete our conversations in the near future. Look for further announcements soon as we work together on this exciting new venture."
The press release also stated that the presidents and chancellors will continue their discussions over the next six months to further develop a plan for formation of the new association.