Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

MWC gazes across new landscape at TCU

By The Associated Press

FORT COLLINS, CO — Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson for the first time has publicly endorsed an expansion of the eight-member league.

Thompson had said previously that any decision on expansion should be left to the league's board of directors — the eight university presidents.

But following a Monday conference call with the board, Thompson said he favors expansion as the landscape in NCAA Division I-A athletics goes through a dramatic change.

"My gut feeling as commissioner is that I think we should expand," Thompson said Tuesday. "I still feel very comfortable with the eight members we have, but I do feel we could strengthen ourselves with additional members."

Thompson said the presidents are considering adding from one to four new members. He said Conference USA football power Texas Christian and Western Athletic Conference member Hawaii are among the teams being discussed by the board, but declined to identify any other schools.

Adding one member would simplify football scheduling, while adding two would aid in scheduling for basketball, volleyball and other sports. Adding four members would make the league eligible to stage a big-money championship football game.

"We're under no timeline. In fact, we don't even have to expand," Thompson said. "But we can't do this in a vacuum. We are a part of the national landscape, so what's happening nationally is of great interest."

The Big East this week invited C-USA schools Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida to join the conference in football, responding to the defections of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College to the ACC.

C-USA reacted by taking Rice, Southern Methodist and Tulsa from the Western Athletic Conference and Central Florida and Marshall from the Mid-American Conference.

In turn, the WAC invited Sun Belt Conference schools New Mexico State and Utah State to join.

The Mountain West was formed in May 1998, splitting from the 16-school Western Athletic Conference.

Colorado State athletic director Mark Driscoll said he favors expansion under the right conditions.

"If we can add schools that can give us more national prestige and more potential to get involved in the [Bowl Championship Series], then we've achieved something," he said.

©2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. contributed to this report.

02.23.07 11:02 AM

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.