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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

WSU baseball and women’s swimming joining Mountain West as affiliate members

WSU infielder Jack Weise tags out a California baserunner during Sunday’s game in Pullman.  (Courtesy of WSU Athletics)

PULLMAN – Washington State’s baseball and women’s swimming teams have a conference home, at least temporarily.

Those programs are joining the Mountain West Conference as affiliate members for the next two seasons, per a news release, providing a landing spot for two of the last WSU programs to find one.

The agreement goes into effect on July 1.

“Finding a home for our baseball and women’s swimming programs has been a top priority for our athletic department and we appreciate the efforts of so many to get to this point,” WSU interim athletics director Anne McCoy said via release. “This agreement offers both programs a competitive schedule in a West Coast-based conference while providing a championship path for coming seasons.”

As Washington State and Oregon State – the two Pac-12 schools left behind in conference realignment – attempt to rebuild the conference, the schools are using a two-year grace period to enter agreements with other conferences. The Cougars’ football team used a scheduling agreement with the Mountain West to provide it with six opponents next fall, while WSU’s basketball teams are joining the West Coast Conference on an affiliate basis.

Affiliate status through the NCAA allows for member affiliates to compete for conference and national championships.

Membership fees for WSU were not immediately clear.

Oregon State is going independent in baseball next year, largely thanks to its long history of success – including a national title in 2018 – which gives the program the ability to schedule teams and bring them to campus. WSU doesn’t have that luxury, which is why it’s entering an agreement with the Mountain West.

Ten WSU programs are joining the WCC as affiliate members next season: men’s and women’s basketball; men’s and women’s cross country; men’s and women’s golf; rowing; soccer; tennis and volleyball.