For the moment, San Diego State's future is the only pressing issue for the Western Athletic and Big West conferences. Still, officials of both leagues know developments around the country will have an impact on them.
"It's going to be interesting," said Dennis Farrell, Big West associate commissioner. "What happens in the rest of the country could have an effect on the West. All the news about the Southeastern Conference, the Big Eight and the Southwest is certainly changing the climate of college athletics."What's happening is a move toward major expansion and restructuring of conferences, aimed at attracting television contracts.
"It's a little premature to start putting the super-conferences together; that's not to say it's not a strong possibility," noted WAC spokesman Jeff Hurd. "Everything right now is so preliminary and premature, it's difficult to get a handle on it."
San Diego State officials told the WAC at meetings last month that they are considering cost-saving measures that could mean finding a new conference affiliation or playing as an independent in one or more sports. Farrell said SDSU has talked informally with the Big West, besides applying to the Pac-10. According to Hurd, the WAC has given SDSU officials a Sept. 1 deadline - they must say by then if they plan to leave the WAC before 1991-92.
WAC presidents are meeting in Honolulu this weekend; athletic directors and faculty representatives will meet next month. Big West athletic directors talked extensively last month about improving the quality of football in the league, and the conference has more meetings scheduled later this month in Las Vegas.