• BlueGoldAg
    1.1k
    Beginning with the 2025-26 academic year, the WCC’s membership will include Gonzaga, Grand Canyon, LMU, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary’s, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Seattle. The Conference sponsors 16 sports.

    The additions of GCU and Seattle, along with the affiliate membership of Oregon State, Washington State, Air Force, California Baptist, San Jose State and Creighton in select sports, gives the Conference 13 teams in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, volleyball and women’s cross country; 12 teams in men’s golf; 11 teams in men’s soccer and women’s tennis; 10 teams in men’s tennis; nine teams in rowing and men’s cross country; and eight teams in beach volleyball, softball and women’s golf during the 2025-26 academic year.

    In some ways I've always thought that the Aggies would be a good fit in the WCC too especially considering Pacific, Santa Clara, San Francisco and Saint Mary's being in such close proximity.

    https://wccsports.com/news/2024/5/10/general-west-coast-conference-adds-grand-canyon-university-and-seattle-university-as-members.aspx
  • BaseballAtDobbins
    42
    The really surprising thing is that Gonzaga allowed Seattle U to join after they basically blocked any talk of it for the last 15 or so years.
    Grand Canyon doesn't surprise me, they've had a lot of recent success and are in a good market.
    I bet whoever decided to move Southern Utah to the WAC is on the hot seat. People talk about the three CA FCS scholarship schools doing something similar and I think the Ags would be crazy to leave the the Big Sky for football.

    The other interesting rumors is that Northern Colorado joins the Summit. Interesting that Missouri State is joining FBS.
  • movielover
    488
    I had no idea GC was so huge. When did that happen?
  • ucdboyd
    28
    I went to Spokane with the family to watch my wife's St Mary's team take on Grand Canyon in the NCAA tourney. After they man handled St Mary's I kept asking everyone "How did Grand Canyon Basketball become a thing?" Ha
  • BlueGoldAg
    1.1k
    My guess is Grand Canyon had a lot of deep-pocketed donors and the school made a commitment to winning at the D1 level without much of a commitment to academics and entrance requirements. They are a private, for profit, Christian school which, in my biased opinion, means they believe that "God wants them to get rich and win at any cost." Ten of their 14 players were transfers from other schools.
  • movielover
    488
    That's a harsh take. Cal has lightweight majors and sunk hundreds of Millions into new facilities.

    GC has 26,000 in person students and 92,000 online, with a 14% growth year to year.
  • BlueGoldAg
    1.1k
    Yes...I just don't get "prosperity theology" but they may not be about that...my rant...I probably shouldn't have posted it...
  • 72Aggie
    305
    Ags and Lopes were both members of the D-II California Collegiate Athletic Conference in the late 1990's and early 2000's.
  • DrMike
    654
    Seattle makes sense; private, religious institution like the other WCAC schools (i remember them being in a conference decades ago with SMC, USF). Grand Canyon is a little bit of an outlier. For-profit school with a very large fraction of online and grad students. Some controversy about their grad programs. Critics refer to it as a diploma mill.

    They make alot of money and seem willing to spend alot on basketball to gain exposure.
  • movielover
    488
    A read a portion of an article blocked by a pay wall. Apparently the author asserts that the WCC has learned that bigger is better, and the additions were affected bc Gonzaga is exploring options again, including Big 12 and MWC.
  • DrMike
    654
    I find it hard to believe this is driven by money!!!!
  • BlueGoldAg
    1.1k
    I've been surprised that Gonzaga hasn't already moved to one of the big, power conferences given how successful their men's basketball has been at the national level over the years. There has always been a bit of a knock against them in the D1 rankings and tournament seeding where sports writers and fans often question their strength of schedule as a member of the WCC.
  • 72Aggie
    305

    Wonder if Gonzaga can find a bigger conference that will accept them without football, and whether travel to Spokane is worthwhile for schools in a "power" conference.
  • BlueGoldAg
    1.1k
    That's a good question. Gonzaga really does seem to have an "unbalanced" sports program when you consider all of their sports. Men's basketball really towers above all the others in terms of national success.
  • BaseballAtDobbins
    42
    Womens Basketball of late has been good for them too. But I'm guessing it would be like a school having a solid baseball program and good softball. Different scholarship sports with different rules but close enough that a school committed to one will probably support the other.

    From time to time, Grand Canyon's non revenue sports have played at WSU or UI. I've run into their teams on the Palouse and they bring a big group up here. I see a fair number of randoms wearing Grand Canyon stuff at different places near me.
  • ucdboyd
    28
    I believe Grand Canyon paid for hundred of students to go to the NCAA game in Spokane. That section was going wild for both games of the session. They were fired up and taunting Alabama players in the earlier game. The money was probably well spent in terms of exposure, I had friends texting me during the St Mary's game asking me about the GC crowd. One huge sports fan said he couldn't believe how rowdy the crowd seemed on TV.
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