NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A source inside the Stephen F. Austin State University Athletic Department confirmed that the program would be part of a press conference in Houston on January 14 announcing their departure from the Southland Conference.
The announcement is expected to take place inside NRG Stadium. Other universities involved in the announcement will be Sam Houston State, Lamar and Abilene Christian.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports first reported the news on Wednesday.
The news had been rumored for months. The move of the “Texas 4″ along with Southern Utah would give the WAC seven members with football, bringing back a conference the disbanded after the 2012-13 season.
On December 17, 2020 SFA president Scott Gordon started to negotiate with the Western Athletic Conference on membership that would begin July 1, 2022. SFA has been a member of the Southland Conference since 1987. The WAC is currently home to California Baptist, Chicago State, Dixie State, Grand Canyon University, New Mexico State, Seattle University, Tarleton State, UT-Rio Grande Valley and Utah Valley.
The unknown right now would be if the conference which would start at the Football Championship Subdivision would ever move to the Football Bowl Subdivision. According to Thamel that could take place in the next decade. There are a lot of moving parts for programs to get right before making the jump.
The move of the four would also alter the Southland Conference. The departure of the four schools would leave just Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Northwestern State an Southeastern Louisiana as football members. Other sports would include those plus the University of New Orleans and Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Central Arkansas’ future in league participation is in doubt. UCA has been linked to an expansion of the Atlantic Sun Conference.