November 19, 2010 in Sports

Hawaii close to joining MWC


HONOLULU – The University of Hawaii is close to joining the Mountain West conference for football, raising the prospect of leaving the depleted Western Athletic Conference after 32 years.

School President M.R.C. Greenwood talked to Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson over the phone Thursday, and she was confident a deal would be worked out.

“We have a handshake but we have yet to agree on the details,” Greenwood said, before adding: “The people of the state of Hawaii should be very positive about this and convinced that we have a bright future.”

It’s not clear where the rest of Hawaii’s athletic programs fit in. Athletic Director Jim Donovan said his poll of the school’s 18 other teams indicated 16 of them would prefer to play in the Big West.

The Mountain West released a statement that said the conference’s board of directors “has authorized Commissioner Craig Thompson to begin discussions with the University of Hawaii regarding possible membership in the sport of football only.”

Hawaii is the longest-running member of the WAC, but the conference has recently lost Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State to the Mountain West.

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