CARLSBAD, Calif. — The Mountain West Conference Board of Directors concluded its annual meeting Tuesday by identifying Division 1-A postseason access as its top priority for the upcoming academic year.

"Division 1-A football is the only sport within the NCAA structure in which the student-athletes do not have equal access to championship opportunities," said University of Utah President Bernie Machen, who serves as the board of directors chairman.

"We are searching for ways in which to improve the current system to make it equitable for all of intercollegiate athletics."

The MWC board plans to explore and make a detailed analysis of several options in an effort to improve its standing in the BCS.

As for expansion, the board unanimously voted to lift the conference's moratorium, which was to take effect until 2004. The MWC will begin exploring expansion options to determine how additional members could strengthen the conference. A subcommittee from the board will develop parameters by which potential members will be evaluated. That process will begin immediately with membership options to be evaluated over the next 12 months.

The board did not change the existing policy prohibiting affiliate members but will continue to discuss the issue.

In other actions, the MWC board of directors executive committee was confirmed for 2003-04, including Machen as the chairman and Dr. Cecil Samuelson of BYU, Dr. Stephen Weber of San Diego State and Dr. Carol Harter of UNLV. Dr. Philip Dubois of Wyoming will be nominated to the NCAA Division 1 board of directors.