WAC back to Vegas?


POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2009

RENO, Nev. » As part of cost-cutting measures, the Western Athletic Conference women's volleyball tournament will be reduced from nine to six teams and played in the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas in November, pending approval from the WAC board of regents.

That was one of a number of topics WAC commissioner Karl Benson covered during yesterday's annual forum at the WAC basketball tournament.

“;We have acknowledged that there's been a recommendation that still needs approval by the WAC board to take our volleyball tournament in November to Orleans Arena and reduce the number of teams playing from nine to six,”; Benson said.

The volleyball tournament was held in Las Vegas from 1996 to 1998. The basketball tournaments were held there in 1997-98.

Benson was in the Orleans Arena on Monday for the West Coast Conference men's basketball championship, and came away impressed with what he saw. The WAC basketball tournament has one more year in Reno, but Benson made it clear the league desires a neutral court to host its tournament.

“;We will begin serious dialogue with the Orleans Arena for 2011 and 2012,”; Benson said. “;Neutral site is a priority. Our coaches have made it very clear. They believe neutral sites are critical.”;

Benson was hopeful the football schedule would be released by the end of the month, citing ESPN and a wide array of conflicts with individual schools as reasons for the delay.

He mentioned the possibility of creating a policy that prohibits schools from scheduling nonconference games after the first Saturday in October, but later said Hawaii would not be part of that due to its unique scheduling conflicts.

He also didn't expect any of the WAC schools to cut any of their sports programs.

“;I wouldn't expect any sport droppings,”; Benson said.