Conference realignment talks surrounding UTSA continue to heat up as officials from Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference were both reportedly on campus last week. According to Dan McCarney, some conference officials are warming up to the idea of adding UTSA to the new alliance. “The more you look at them, and I’ve looked at them a lot, the more you like them. Potential growth, the size of the school, location — there’s a lot to like, a lot of great things going on.”
To make things more interesting, the Sun Belt has already started their expansion by adding Georgia State yesterday, with plans to add at least one more school in the near future. UTSA has been speculated as a leading candidate for the Sun Belt, as commissioner Karl Benson has stated he would like to expand into Texas, but we will likely have to wait and see how the alliance expansion turns out before the Sun Belt will make their decisions.
UTSA will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony today for the first phase of the new Park West athletic complex, featuring a track and field stadium, soccer field, paved parking and related infrastructure. Follow @RowdyReport on Twitter for live updates from the ceremony.
UPDATE: Despite my hopes that Red McCombs would be announcing another million dollar donation, there was no major news to report from the groundbreaking ceremony. The speakers emphasized the importance of having world class facilities to attract competitions, all the way from the local to international levels (including a mention of the Pan American Games), stating that it would generate over $60 million for the San Antonio economy. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff also made clear that a downtown baseball stadium (to be shared by UTSA and the city) is his next priority.
Early last week, the news broke that former Reagan standout and Georgia Tech graduate Marcus Wright’s transfer to UTSA had fallen through, and he would instead join the UIW Cardinals next season. After losing Chris Johnson and Tevin Williams earlier in the spring, UTSA will be thin at the running backs position come August 30 and they will have to rely on returners Evans Okotcha, David Glasco II, and Brandon Armstrong, who transitioned from slot receiver to tailback last season.
Dan McCarney recapped the April 6 practice, where the offense shined, along with the April 9 practice, as the defense returned the favor. It was good to see David Morgan getting back into the mix after being sidelined earlier in the spring, but UTSA will have to play next weekend’s spring game without safety Nic Johnston or linebacker Cole Hubble, who have both been ruled out with injuries. Also of note is that safeties coach Perry Eliano has taken over special teams responsibilities from receivers coach Tony Jeffrey, giving Jeffrey more time to devote to developing his young receiver corps.
The Southland Conference unveiled their All-Academic Men’s Basketball Teams last week, with sophomore Jeromie Hill earning the Student-Athlete of the Year award and fellow Roadrunner/Australia-native Iggy Nujic earning a spot on the second-team.
The UTSA baseball team began the week in College Station, nearly upsetting the #4 Aggies, when Tyler Naquin hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to give A&M the 4-3 lead just moments before the game was called due to lightning.
UTSA took two of three from McNeese State in the weekend series, taking the Cowboys to 15 innings in their only loss, by a score of 3-2 on Friday, before winning 4-3 on Saturday and shutting out McNeese 3-0 on Sunday, earning freshman pitcher Justin Anderson the league’s Pitcher of the Week award.
The Roadrunners now share last place in the conference with Lamar, both at 5-10.
Heavy rain in Houston forced the Wednesday doubleheader against Houston Baptist to be shortened to a single game, which the Huskies would go on to win 3-2. The Roadrunners then hosted two doubleheaders over the weekend, splitting their pair of games with Sam Houston State on Friday before sweeping Central Arkansas on Saturday, improving their record to 6-4 in conference.
The tennis team extended their winning streak to three on Friday by defeating Lamar 5-2, but that streak was ended the next day as they fell to UT Arlington, 4-3. The Roadrunners will close out their season this Saturday at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. With two weeks to go until the Southland Conference Tournament the team is sitting on the bubble at 2-2 after their strong start in non-conference play.