Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
Chicago State and the WAC made a joint announcement Wednesday that the school will leave the Great West and join the WAC for the 2013-14 season. The move effectively ends the existence of the Great West Conference.
Chicago State announced Wednesday that the school has accepted an invitation to join the WAC beginning with the 2013-14 season.
The move was expected based on comments from athletic director Dan Schumacher in the days leading up to the announcement. The WAC has been in desperate need of additional teams to meet the minimum requirements set by the NCAA in order to maintain its automatic bid to the men's basketball tournament.
The WAC will now be comprised of Chicago State, Cal State Bakersfield, Idaho, Grand Canyon University, New Mexico State, Seattle and Utah Valley State next season. Idaho will be leaving following next year to join the Big Sky conference.
As a consequence of the move, the Great West Conference effectively ceases to exist following this season. The only team still remaining in what was a scheduling co-op among the teams, will be NJIT. There is a chance that if the rumored moves from the Northeast Conference to the MAAC occur that the Highlanders will be picked up by either the NEC or the America East conference.
On a side note, in order to make the move, Chicago State will need to add both men's and women's soccer by the fall of 2014.