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CHICAGO – Monday (July 1) morning probably felt like any other summer day for Chicago State University's student-athletes. However there was one big difference. When CSU's student-athletes got out of bed on Monday they became the first Cougars to be part of a conference with an automatic bid to NCAA postseason play since 2006. That's because the Cougars became active members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).Chicago State University
"Since we announced the move to the WAC in December our coaches have seen a shift in the conversation with recruits, parents and coaches," Chicago State Athletic Director Dan Schumacher said. "We're now able to offer the same things the city's other four Division I schools offer all while being part of a conference brand that is nationally recognized."
The Cougars were members of the Great West Conference for the past four seasons. However the GWC did not possess an automatic bid to the NCAA postseason. Chicago State isn't the only GWC school joining the WAC. Utah Valley University and the University of Texas-Pan American also became members on Monday. California State University, Bakersfield, Grand Canyon University, the University of Idaho, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, New Mexico State University and Seattle University join the three former GWC schools as members in the nine-team WAC.
"We are pleased to welcome Chicago State to the WAC," WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd said. "Because it has not been affiliated with a conference for seven years, Chicago State is eager and excited to have a conference home and we look forward to providing championship opportunities for its student-athletes. Chicago State also provides the WAC exposure in another large media market."
The Cougars will get their first look at WAC play in late September in volleyball. Chicago State's first WAC Championship event will be Nov. 2 when the WAC Cross Country Championships are held in Seattle, Wash. 




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