The University of Hawaii is expected to join the Mountain West Conference for football, sources confirmed to KITV4.
The official announcement came from UH President M.R.C. Greenwood at a news conference Thursday night at the University of Hawaii Manoa campus. The details have yet to be worked out but there is a deal in principal.
"We have a handshake but we have yet to agree on the details," Greenwood said, before adding: "The people of the state of Hawaii should be very positive about this and convinced that we have a bright future."
The Mountain West released a statement Thursday night saying the conference's board of directors "has authorized Commissioner Craig Thompson to begin discussions with the University of Hawaii regarding possible membership in the sport of football only."
UH fans at the athletic complex were elated at the news.
?The thinking is the WAC is sinking. We need to get on a ship that is afloat. So if they are offering us, let's take it. If they only want football that?s better for us because the other conferences have better volley bowl, better baseball, better basketball,? said Warrior fan Pierre Watt.
?I think we have earned it, especially this season. They gave us a good season. They have been doing really good. I have a couple of friends on the team, and they wanted to get out too,? said UH Student Patrick Dacayanen.
?I think it?s good to have a conference that is bowl eligible, but I feel bad because we are going to be leaving WAC .We are one of the power houses of the WAC which means the WAC will not be bowl eligible for other teams,? said Kyle Hunt.
The move comes on the heels of top Western Athletic Conference teams leaving the conference. Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State bolted for the MWC.
This is Boise State's last season in the WAC. Nevada and Fresno State announced they would leave after next season.
Current WAC Schools: Hawaii Boise State Fresno State Idaho Louisiana Tech New Mexico State Nevada San Jose State Utah State
Hawaii will be part of the MWC just for football.
The school would be part of the Big West Conference for the other sports, sources told KITV4 Sports. The Big West Conference on Tuesday lifted a moratorium for membership that was in place since July 2005.
Mountain West Conference : Utah (leaving 2011) BYU (leaving 2011) Air Force Academy Colorado State New Mexico San Diego State Texas Christian University of Nevada Las Vegas Wyoming Boise State (joining 2011) Nevada (joining 2012) Fresno State (joining 2012)
This year has been a turbulent one for the college sports conferences. Utah announced it is leaving the MWC for the Pac-10. Brigham Young University said it would go independent for football from the MWC.
There have been some rumors that the Big East hopes to lure Texas Christian University away from the Mountain West. The Big East has an automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series.
Current Big West Conference Schools: Cal State Fullerton Cal State Northridge Long Beach State UC Davis UC Irvine UC Riverside UC Santa Barbara Pacific