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Cal State-Bakersfield, Utah Valley become two newest members of WAC

Oct 9, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

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Utah Valley University and Cal State-Bakersfield have accepted an invitation from the Western Athletic Conference to join the conference in time for the start of the 2013-14 season.

“Both are quality institutions and bring high level competitive and academic qualities to the 2013-14 membership,” interim commissioner Jeff Hurd said in a release. “We are excited to begin the process of rebuilding the WAC and will continue to work to reestablish the league as one of the top Division I conferences in the West.”

The WAC is in the midst of a major transition, set to become a non-football playing Division I conference at the same time that CSBU and UVU are to join the league in 2013.

For Cal State-Bakersfield, the Roadrunners will no longer be a Division I independent, bringing at least 13 of its 18 sports programs to the WAC. The school’s men’s basketball team finished 16-15 last season.

Utah Valley University is only three years removed from having become a Division I institution, having been a member of the Great West Conference since becoming a D-I school in 2009. They had previously been identified as a junior college.

The Wolverines finished 20-13 last season.

“CSU Bakersfield and Utah Valley University accepting our invitation to join the WAC is great news as our conference looks to a very promising future,” Seattle University president Stephen Sundborg said in a statement.

“These two fine institutions are making significant investments in their athletic programs, and we look forward to the many ways they will help the WAC build on its great tradition and national reputation.”

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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