Utah newspaper: Cal State Bakersfield to join WAC

Utah newspaper: Cal State Bakersfield to join WAC »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Cal State Bakersfield has found a conference home, according to a Utah newspaper.

The Daily Herald in Provo reported Friday that the Western Athletic Conference will introduce CSUB and Utah Valley University as its newest members next week. Officials from CSUB and the WAC haven't made any announcements.

CSUB, Utah Valley and Seattle University all applied in 2011 to become non-football members of the WAC, but only Seattle University got an invitation. Recent defections have created additional openings in the conference, the Provo newspaper reported.

The new WAC should have six teams: Idaho, New Mexico State, Denver, Seattle, Utah Valley and CSUB, according to the Daily Herald, citing an unnamed source close to Utah Valley's athletics department.

Utah Valley's athletic director Mike Jacobsen declined comment for the Daily Herald report.

The NCAA requires a conference to have at least seven teams for basketball, but it gave the WAC a two-year exemption to pull in more members.

CSUB's basketball teams have competed as independents since the school achieved full NCAA Division I membership in September 2010.

The WAC has been bleeding members in the last couple of years. Fresno State, Boise State, Nevada, Hawaii, Utah State, Louisiana Tech, Texas State, UT-San Antonio and San Jose State have all left or will leave for new conferences.

The WAC commissioner told The Denver Post in August that it has become apparent the league is "unlikely" to have enough football members to compete next season. Jeff Hurd said the conference is now emphasizing simply having enough members to remain a Division I non-football league, according to a report from The Associated Press.

The Daily Herald reported CSUB and Utah Valley are expected to compete as soon as next year in the WAC.

CSUB was already slated to join the WAC as a baseball member starting in March. CSUB men's soccer will join the Pac-12 Conference as an affiliate member beginning in the fall of 2013.