The High Country Athletic Conference, a women's league approaching its seventh season, is considering a merger with the Western Athletic Conference, which has no women's competition, both leagues say.
"Basically, what they've come up with is: `Let's do some research and review,"' said WAC Commissioner Joe Kearney. "There's no master plan, no timing sequence, no committee formed to determine operational things."It's so preliminary. From this could come action to look at things further, or there could come no action," Kearney said.
At WAC meetings in May, athletic directors passed the issue on the university presidents with a resolution suggesting a subcommittee of athletic directors and primary women's administrators be formed with an eye toward competition in 1989-90.
The resolution also noted that the WAC alone, out of the nation's seven major conferences, has no women's competition.
"It's philosophically and educationally sound to have joint female-male championship competition, in-season double-header competition and overall competition with unviersities of compatible academic values," the resolution said.
Margie McDonald, executive director of HCAC, said her conference is proceeding with caution. High Country made a study of the issue last year, but it drew no conclusions.
Five HCAC schools - the University of New Mexico, Brigham Young University, Colorado State, Utah and Wyoming - already are WAC members on the men's athletics side, while the WAC's University of Texas at El Paso is a limited HCAC affiliate in track, cross-country and tennis.
WAC men's teams also include San Diego State, Air Force and Hawaii, but Air Force women compete in Division II in NCAA, while Hawaii and San Diego State women are in the Big West.
Non-WAC schools competing in all sports in the seven-campus High Country conference are New Mexico State and Utah State, both Big West members for men's athletics.