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WAC MAY JUNK QUAD SYSTEM IN FAVOR OF 2 8-TEAM DIVISIONS

Athletic directors and university presidents in the Western Athletic Conference will receive a proposal, approved by coaches, that would create two eight-team divisions when the league expands.

Under the current plan, the WAC would be in four, four-team divisions when six teams join the league for basketball in the 1996-97 season.Hawaii coach Riley Wallace told the Albuquerque Journal the new plan would provide for teams to play 18 league games, two each against its seven division foes and a total of four against two teams from the other division.

He said the new format "is a much fairer way to do it. This way would allow for more rivalries."

Wallace said under the coaches plan, one division would consist of Brigham Young, Utah, Air Force, Fresno State, Wyoming, Colorado State and incoming members Nevada-Las Vegas and San Jose State.

The other would include New Mexico, Texas-El Paso, Hawaii, San Diego State and future members Texas Christian, Tulsa, Southern Methodist and Rice.

The plan was voted on at a coaches meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., earlier this week. WAC athletic directors meet next week in San Diego. They would have to recommend the plan to WAC presidents, who meet in June.

"I'd be all for this," said New Mexico Athletic Director Rudy Davalos, noting that the proposal would give the Lobos a road game against Hawaii, which would allow them to add an extra game to their schedule.

Under the current plan, the teams would be divided into four divisions. While teams would play home-and-home against the three opponents in their division every year, their out-of-division foes would change each season.

Wallace said the coaches proposal would allow for more long-lasting rivalries.

He said the intent is to have two conference champions, one from each division, and coaches would recommend petitioning to the NCAA for two automatic berths to the postseason tournament.