Fresno State President John D. Welty joined chancellors and presidents from 15 other universities from the Atlantic Seaboard to Hawaii at a meeting Feb. 11-12 in Dallas that led to announcement of plans for a new intercollegiate athletic association.

Representatives of schools in the Mountain West Conference, which Fresno State’s Bulldogs will join in fall 2012, and Conference-USA participated in the meeting. Plans are that the as-yet unnamed conference would begin competition in the 2013-14 academic year.

Officials of Conference-USA schools in Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina and West Virginia worked on a proposal for an 18- to 24-university alliance that would play in geographic divisions and feature playoffs in football and basketball.

Welty said the proposed new conference “provides a great opportunity for our student-athletes, our coaching staff and our university.”

New Bulldog football Coach Tim DeRuyter said he’s confident the expanded conference and playoff system will be helpful in recruiting student-athletes to Fresno State.

For more information to  Mountain West Athletics.