By Brian Murphy
The Mountain West Conference has "no definitive timeline" for completing discussions with the Hawaii, a spokesman for commissioner Craig Thompson told the Statesman on Friday.
The league's presidents voted Thursday to initiate conversations with Hawaii about joining the league as a football-only member. On Thursday evening, reports surfaced in the Hawaii press and the school held a press conference to announce it was negotiating with the Mountain West to join.
WAC offers Hawaii "football-only" membership
The WAC has offered Hawaii a "football-only" membership in the league in an attempt to keep the Warriors from agreeing to the same deal with the Mountain West Conference, WAC commissioner Karl Benson wrote to league presidents and athletic directors in an e-mail obtained by the Idaho Statesman.
Hawaii and the Mountain West acknowledged Thursday night that they are negotiating to have the Warriors join the league as a football-only member.
The WAC's offer to its longest-serving current member came after athletic directors at Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State voted on a Thursday conference call.
Benson's e-mail also suggests that the Mountain West is still evaluating the impact of adding Hawaii on its television contract and the evaluation could take up to a month.
Hawaii officials said Thursday they had a handshake agreement to join the league, but still needed to work out additional details. That is further than Mountain West officials went in an official statement, which said that the league's board of directors had "authorized Commissioner Craig Thompson to begin discussions with the University of Hawaii regarding possible membership in the sport of football only."
• Hawaii officials certainly sound like it is a done deal in this Honolulu Star Advertiser story.
Check out this quote from athletic director Jim Donovan: "The important thing is we're going to the dance. That's always been the most important thing in my life. I'm a former offensive lineman, and no matter what it takes, we try to get the job done. We don't expect a lot of fanfare. We just want to get the job done."
• Here is a column from the Star Advertiser, which tries to set Hawaii fans at ease since there was no actual invitation offered by the Mountain West.
Be sure to check back for more on this developing story throughout the day.
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