Cal State Bakersfield will be switching athletic conferences, going from the Western Athletic Conference to the Big West Conference in 2020.
The Big West Conference Board of Directors announced that CSUB and UC San Diego will be joining the conference as its 10th and 11th members.
CSUB will join the conference on July 1, 2020, and will immediately be eligible for Big West titles, awards and honors.
When asked where the money saved would go, Dr. Mitchell mentioned scholarships that couldn't be afforded before. Afterwards, Ziggy Siegfried also said there are "significant plans" to continue to upgrade facilities. https://t.co/pNhW2XwQOY
— Brandon Johansen (@BranJohansen) November 27, 2017
At a press conference on Monday, Dr. Horace Mitchell said the school will save up roughly $400,000 annually on travel costs, money that could go to scholarships or facility upgrades.
All schools except Hawaii in the Big West Conference are in California, significantly reducing travel time. In fact, the school says an average round trip to a WAC competitor was just over 2,400 miles. Meanwhile, an average round trip to a Big West competitor would be just over 800 miles, and that's with Hawaii included.
In making the announcement, Big West Conference Commissioner Dennis Farrell issued the following statement:
“The addition of these two outstanding universities will further strengthen the Big West’s position as the preeminent NCAA Division I public university conference for the states of California and Hawai‘i,” said Farrell. “The 2018-19 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the Big West Conference and this membership development positions the conference to continue growing and thriving for the next 50 years.”
Beginning in 2020-21 CSU Bakersfield will participate in the following Big West championship sports: men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, women’s cross country, women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s track and field, women’s volleyball and beach volleyball. For the past two years, CSU Bakersfield has been a Big West associate member in beach volleyball.