[Cross-posted from Pioneer Pulse.]
Denver’s planned future home, the WAC, may not be a zombie conference after all.
On Thursday, the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved and adopted “Proposal 2010-100,” abolishing the “continuity clause” that required conferences to have at least six schools that have been together in the conference for at least five years. The WAC was scheduled to lose that status in 2012 and had no hope of regaining it until 2017 at the earliest, which would have meant no automatic bids for the league till then, which would almost certainly have led to further defections and the eventual dissolution of the conference.
Instead, conferences now must simply have at least “seven active Division I members,” all of which sponsor men’s basketball, and six that sponsor at least five other sports (including football). And if a conference falls below those numbers, there’s a two-year grace period to pull themselves back up.
That gives the WAC, which is scheduled to have eight basketball members (three of them newbies) and seven football members starting in 2012-13, a bit of much-needed breathing room.