Roadrunners dart past WAC on way to C-USA

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Remember how Wile E. Coyote could never catch that pesky Roadrunner? He’d try and try, but not even a Soopa Genius like Wile E. could slow down the speedy desert dweller.

Well, Mr. Coyote has company. The Roadrunners of the University of Texas-San Antonio escaped the tiny Southland Conference a year ago, signing on to play BCS football as a member of the WAC. As other schools left – gutting the Roadrunners’ new league in the process – UTSA kept running, evading the WAC net and dashing toward Conference USA, according to today’s reports. USA Today lays out the pertinent details:

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has scheduled a vote on the move for Wednesday. The meeting agenda states that C-USA officials approached UTSA in March and that the school will incur no exit fee for leaving the WAC.

UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa has recommended that the board approve the move.

Conference USA is planning to merge with the Mountain West, creating a league with as many as 24 teams across five time zones.

UTSA was scheduled to officially join the WAC this year. But three WAC schools have declared their intentions to leave since UTSA accepted its invitation, which would leave the WAC with just four football schools.

The Roadrunners have former Miami gridiron coach Larry Coker (pictured, with UTSA football team) on board for the move, so it’s no surprise that they’ll chase whichever league looks the strongest. From a basketball perspective, the Roadrunners may be woefully out of their depth.

The Roadrunners have a $1.3 million basketball budget, which has them in the lower third of all programs nationwide. They have won the Southland auto-bid thrice, most recently in 2011. That 20-13 season also yielded the team’s first-ever NCAA win, as they took out Alabama State in the preliminary round before getting annihilated by Ohio State.

Realignment on football terms has made for some strange bedfellows in hoops. Might as well wet down your kerchief and cover your face cowboy-style, because this dust ain’t gonna settle for some time yet, pardner.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.