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DENVER, CO — Just a week after announcing the addition of new members Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Lamar and Abilene Christian, and in the wake of the news that the “Texas Four” would be leaving the Southland Conference ahead of schedule, the WAC announced that the four institutions will be allowed to join the conference effective July 1, 2021.

The WAC Board of Directors unanimously voted to accept the request of the four Texas institutions to expedite their entry into the conference well ahead of the previously planned date of July 1, 2022.

“We are excited about the vote of affirmation to expedite our entry into the WAC on July 1, 2021”, said SFA president Dr. Scott Gordon. “This is a major step to quickly integrate the new Texas universities, develop competitive schedules and to stabilize the conference. The shared vision of the WAC members is evident and the future is definitely bright!”

In a live press conference at NRG Park on January 14, presidents of each new member institution as well as current member presidents and WAC leadership were present as the conference announced the addition of the “Texas Four” as well as Southern Utah, who is still slated to join the WAC from the Big Sky in 2022.

“On behalf of our coaches, students-athletes and staff, I want to thank the WAC board for their unanimous support in allowing an early entry for the upcoming 2021-22 season”, said SFA Director of Athleticc Ryan Ivey. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity that we have in front of us to join the WAC and look forward to many years of success and partnership throughout the league.”

In the wake of the announcement that the “Texas Four” will begin competing in the WAC in the 2021-2022 academic year, men’s and women’s basketball will feature both divisional and crossover play with the number of conference games to be played still to be determined. Football will include full conference play. All other sports that feature a regular season are expected to begin divisional play.

Administrators from all involved institutions will work with the conference office to finalize divisional alignment, scheduling and championships for the upcoming season and beyond.

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