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Will WAC expand to 12?

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HOUSTON — Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Karl Benson is urging presidents of the league's 10 schools to take advantage of the uncertainty that exists within Conference USA by recruiting two of its universities for a new 12-team league with two six-team divisions, a Houston television station reported Friday night.

Houston television station KRIV said it obtained a copy of a letter Benson sent the presidents in which Benson said he wants to make a run at two schools from a group of three now in Conference USA — Houston, TCU and Tulane.

Two CUSA schools, Louisville and Cincinnati, could end up in the Big East Conference, Benson noted.

Benson said he has been led to believe that Conference USA is looking at WAC teams Rice, SMU and Tulsa with the idea of inviting two of them if Louisville and Cincinnati go to the Big East. He urged WAC presidents to turn the CUSA's uncertainty to the WAC's advantage.

"The WAC has a golden opportunity to secure its future and the athletic future of each of its members by creating its own 12-team league with two divisions," Benson wrote.

But Benson warned in the letter: "Unless there is stability in the WAC West and there is not a threat that the Mountain West will add one or more WAC teams, it will be very difficult, if not impossible to convince Houston, TCU or Tulane to join the WAC."