Frazier to join WAC ‘task force’
SALT LAKE CITY » Herman Frazier has a new mission.
The Hawaii athletic director was announced yesterday by Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson as a member of a new "task force" at the annual WAC Basketball Preview.
"Its charge is to identify and look at all the issues that make up the sport of basketball, and to make sure that ... WAC basketball is trending upward and not stabilizing or falling," Benson said. "This is a demonstration of how important basketball is in the WAC, and we need to dedicate resources to it."
Of particular concern are the difficult logistics of travel in a nine-team league; in a 10-team conference, every team would have a travel partner for WAC games on Thursdays and Saturdays. That, as well as helping negotiate a new television contract with ESPN after talks for a more lucrative deal failed this summer, are two of the big points of emphasis for the committee that also includes men's coaches Mark Fox of Nevada and Greg Graham of Boise State, and women's coaches Pam DeCosta of San Jose State and Mike Divilbiss from Idaho.
Frazier attended yesterday's Salt Lake City conference before hopping on a plane to San Jose for tomorrow's football game between the Warriors and Spartans.
"I think there will be a big emphasis on, should we get another team," Frazier said, "and if we do, is that a team that has all the sports, or one that plays just basketball."
Said Benson, "We're always on alert for that -- but there's not a sense of urgency there."
ESPN currently televises the WAC Tournament championship game and a handful of Bracketbuster Saturday contests, which can feature WAC teams, depending on performance.
"Our current contract with ESPN doesn't put as many games on national TV," Frazier said. "We have a very good local package, but when you're trying to recruit student-athletes, you want them to be able to see your team and see you on ESPN or any other national broadcast."