Griz Central News

Sep 29, 2010 7:34 PM by Derek Buerkle (KPAX Sports)

WAC Commissioner recognizes UM would be "perfect fit"

MISSOULA - University of Montana athletic director Jim O'Day says his school would be a valuable asset to any conference and it appears the WAC is starting to agree with him.

The conference that will soon lose Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State to the Mountain West is holding meetings this week in Dallas with potential expansion schools, including Montana.

Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, the University of Denver and Seattle University all gave formal presentations on why the WAC should accept their school.

The two Texas schools are seeking full membership status in the WAC, while Denver and Seattle are hoping to join the league for men's and women's basketball only.

O'Day attended the same meetings at the WAC's request, but he did not make a presentation. Instead, he labeled his trip as "fact-finding". While Montana is still trying decide if they should move up to the FBS level, WAC Commissioner Karl Benson made it clear today, they're interested in the Grizzlies.

"More often than not, I'm being told by others in the "industry" that is would appear that Montana is a perfect fit for the WAC. We recognize that, and yet, we also know that institutions need to come to decisions that are in their best interests. We will respect the process that Montana is undergoing today. We will respect the presidential transition. And that at the end of the day, in this 30 to 60 days, that we're hopeful that some decisions can be made."

In those 30 to 60 days mentioned, the WAC plans on making campus visits to all the universities in question, including Montana. Benson also says, as of now they are not holding any discussions about adding Montana State to the conference.

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