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UTRGV athletic director discusses joining Southland Conference

UTRGV athletic director discusses joining Southland Conference
1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago Saturday, April 06 2024 Apr 6, 2024 April 06, 2024 3:33 PM April 06, 2024 in News - Local

UTRGV’s decision to leave the Western Athletic Conference will make it easier for students and families to attend away games, according to the university’s athletic director.

UTRGV announced they're joining the Southland Conference on March 25. The agreement goes into effect on July 1. 

The university joined the WAC in 2013, and students had to travel to cities as far as Seattle to attend the away games.

Now, UTRGV athletes and fans will only have to travel as far as Louisiana.

“It's definitely a great advantage since I’ve only ever gone to home games, but since it's now here in Texas it's way more accessible,” UTRGV student Dreida Villegas said. “I think families will definitely appreciate that since it's closer to home and closer to their culture as well."

According to UTRGV Athletic Director Chasse Conque, the university will be saving around $750,000 per year in travel alone.

Conque says the University plans to reinvest that amount into their student-athletes.

Reinvestments will also go into recruiting budgets and improving athletic facilities and events.

Conque says it's not just a financial benefit the university will see. The agreement will significantly decrease the total missed class days for student-athletes.

“[It’s] putting them in a position to be in class more, less miles traveled and really at the end of the day, as you look at the data we're going to have a healthier student athlete,” Conque said.

The Rio Grande Valley will also see an economic boom when away teams come to visit with their fans, Conque added.

“It's going to be a lot of fun to see people come from all the different universities that represent the Southland Conference, and for us to be able to showcase the Rio Grande Valley," Conque said.

Watch the video above for the full story.  

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