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Thread: Tech digs in with WAC

  1. Sunbelt Tech digs in with WAC

    RUSTON - Louisiana Tech athletics director Jim Oakes has emerged from a period of uncertainty with a renewed resolve to live within the framework of the Western Athletic Conference.

    "At this point, our commitment is to remain in the WAC," Oakes said. "We certainly will hope for expansion in the future - whether this year, or down the road - that would accommodate some of our travel concerns."

    The conference had already lost Tech's three closest geographical opponents - Southern Methodist, Rice and Tulsa - to Conference USA. But then C-USA rebuffed Tech two Fridays ago - choosing instead to add a fellow WAC member, the University of Texas at El Paso.

    And so it goes in the WAC, where commissioner Karl Benson has seen four defections in six months and 13 since 1998. Eight schools left in 1999 alone to form the Mountain West Conference, upheaval that opened the door for Louisiana Tech to join.

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    Nick Deriso
    nderiso@thenewsstar.com

    May 9, 2004

  2. Default

    Making up is hard to do. Especially if it involves Louisiana Tech and the Sun Belt Conference, which had a less-than-amicable parting of the ways three years ago when the Bulldogs jumped to the WAC.

    Now they suddenly find themselves in need of each other.

    The defection of SMU, Rice and Tulsa to Conference USA has left the Bulldogs on an island as the only WAC member in the central time zone, and a travel burden to the other WAC schools.

    And the New Orleans-based Sun Belt needs eight full members to continue to be recognized as a Division I-A football conference in 2005. Louisiana Tech would become the most prominent school in a league much in need of a boost in respectability.

    So what's the holdup? Certainly, the two Louisiana schools in the Sun Belt would welcome the return of the Bulldogs.

    "I feel very strongly about it, and I am going to continue to talk to them about coming back," said Louisiana-Lafayette president Ray Authement

    Adds UNO athletic director Jim Miller, "Tech and UNO have been great rivals in the past, and the rivalry should be renewed. Having them back in the Sun Belt would be good for everybody."

    But so far, Tech isn't showing any signs of wanting a reconciliation. "We are committed to remaining in the WAC," athletic director Jim Oakes said. "We want to work now to do the things we need to help the league, and we feel that the WAC presents the best opportunities for our athletic program. We have made an investment in the WAC, and without casting aspersions on any other league, we are doing what we feel is best for our program and what out alumni and supporters want as well."

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    Time Picayunne
    Ted Lewis

  3. #3
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    Yeah right!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. #4
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    Where's the logic? It'll cost them a fortune & the other schools don't want to go to Ruston. What a great lose/lose situation!


  5. #5
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    My prediction...LA Tech will continue a decline in football and all other sports because of the crazy travel expenses related to staying in the WAC. The effect of this decision will show its ugly head 3 or 4 years down the road. Just my opinion.


  6. #6
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    Originally posted by CajunGrad94
    My prediction...LA Tech will continue a decline in football and all other sports because of the crazy travel expenses related to staying in the WAC. The effect of this decision will show its ugly head 3 or 4 years down the road. Just my opinion.
    I agree. If they are staying in the WAC with hopes of a new round of realignment in 3 or 4 years, what will their programs be like by then? Will there even be a C-USA? If so will they want them? very risky and IMHO a bad move.

  7. #7
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    Louisiana Tech would become the most prominent school in a league much in need of a boost in respectability.
    Says who? If they are so respectable why did C-USA pass them over for a western based team?

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