Feb 032004
 
Authors: Steve Latuda

Texas Christian come on down! You have been selected as the next

participant in the Mountain West Conference.

TCU, formerly a member of Conference USA, announced Friday that

it accepted an invitation to join the MWC as a full-time member

starting July 1, 2005, and begin competition in the conference at

the beginning of the 2005-06 academic year.

“TCU is flattered to have been asked to join the Mountain West,”

TCU chancellor Victor Boschini said in a press conference. “We look

forward to competing with their members and getting to know the

schools in our new league.”

TCU’s presence in the MWC will do many things for not only the

Mountain West, but also for CSU.

With TCU being the first and only school in the MWC from Texas,

CSU and other teams from the conference will have better access to

the recruiting possibilities in Texas.

Because CSU’s men’s basketball team is already heavily rooted in

Texas, expansion gives them the opportunity to be seen in Texas at

least once a year and give prospects a chance to return home at

least once a year.

“With eight players on the current roster with ties to Texas and

two more coming in next year, having TCU join the conference only

enhances what we have going,” said CSU sports information director

Gary Ozzello.

Other advantages TCU brings to the MWC is the ability of the

conference to balance its annual football schedule, giving each

member four home and four away conference games each year.

Furthermore, TCU’s presence adds the nation’s seventh-largest

television market to the MWC.

But not everything is coming up roses with the addition of

TCU.

With nine teams, the conference will have to make a decision on

how the ninth place team will fit into conference tournaments in

volleyball and basketball.

With the national string of conference-jumping coming to an end,

the new controversy will be whether the MWC will be included in

football’s BCS when it comes time to decide the new system next

year.

“I think from top to bottom, the MWC is as good as the Big

East,” CSU athletic director Mark Driscoll said of the conference

based in the eastern United States, which lost powerhouse teams

Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College to the Atlantic Coast

Conference. “I believe we (CSU) deserve to be there.”

Nine teams, for now, seem to be the cut-off point for the

MWC.

“There will be no active consideration of additional membership

for the time being,” MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said in a

press release. “However, we will continue to monitor the issue and

move forward at any time that it is determined to be in the best

interest of the MWC to expand.”

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