October 26, 1998
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP)- The eight schools leaving the Western Athletic Conference have named their new NCAA Division I-A league the Mountain West Conference, the schools announced Monday.
"The Mountain West Conference name ... brings to mind the geographic setting of our conference," said Colorado State University president Albert C. Yates, the president and treasurer of the new conference.
The schools which decided last summer they were leaving the WAC to launch the Mountain West are Colorado State, Air Force, Brigham Young, Nevada-Las Vegas, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah and Wyoming. They cited the loss of traditional rivalries, rising travel costs and insufficient revenue growth as reasons for leaving the country's only 16-school conference.
The new conference officially begins July 1, 1999.
Craig Thompson, commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference, was named to lead the new league on Oct. 15.
The Mountain West Conference has not selected its headquarters, but the prospective sites reportedly have been narrowed to Las Vegas and Colorado Springs.
The schools staying in the WAC are Southern Methodist, San Jose State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Rice, Texas Christian, Texas-El Paso and Tulsa.