What we mentioned Tuesday as a foregone conclusion became official Thursday as the WAC and commissioner Karl Benson welcomed the beleaguered league's 10th member, UT-Arlington.
The announcement gave UTA president James D. Spaniolo the chance to answer the million-dollar question concerning the league's football future: Now that the Mavericks have got their FBS conference membership locked up, will they restart their football program, dormant since 1985? That answer, for the time being, is "oh heavens no":
"We have not closed the door to football, but it's not on our immediate horizon," Spaniolo said. "We will look at that some time down the road, but we've got some other immediate priorities that need attention."Translation: We told Benson we'd think about it, since we really wanted this for our hoops team. But it ain't happening anytime soon enough to matter to him. Spaniolo essentially offered Benson the college football equivalent of "Yeah, that party sounds fun, we're doing something else but maybe we'll stop by afterwards."
Not that this kept Benson from the classic Jim Carrey "you're saying there's a chance!" response:
"We know President Spaniolo will take a good, hard look at (adding football) and the WAC is hopeful the answer will come back yes," Benson said.Keep hoping, Karl. In the meantime, it's time to check out what football schools you could add in the Central Time Zone before geographically-awkward, football-prioritizing Louisiana Tech bolts; Benson admitted yesterday that he has not "ruled out" "any FBS, any FCS school that is in our footprint."
But with UTA taking a pass on getting back on the gridiron, if the two football schools Benson's promised wind up more along the lines of a low-profile FCS also-ran like, say, Lamar, the WAC center may still fail to hold.