By Nate Sanchez
For years, CSUB has wandered in the desert of independent play. As of July 1, 2013, the ’Runners finally found shelter in conference play by becoming the newest members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
“This is a very exciting athletics year for our campus as we enter the WAC,” Athletic Director Jeff Konya said. “This association will lead to expanding our branding and marketing both within the region and nationally, and will help foster rivalries with our new conference.”
The WAC currently has nine full-time members, as well as nine part-time affiliates. Among the newest members of the WAC is ’Runner rival Utah Valley University. The UVU Wolverines and the ’Runners have fostered quite the rivalry over the past few years primarily in volleyball and basketball playing as independents. It seems as though UVU and CSUB will contend for years to come.
Despite being in one of the major national conferences, ’Runner athletics retains its small-town charm. CSUB offers ’Runner fans the experience of Division I athletics in a comfortable and intimate atmosphere. There’s a closeness to the games that is rare in schools of CSUB’s status. The crowds are large enough to accommodate camaraderie among your fellow fans, but small enough to be able to hear everything happening on the field.
Every CSUB athletic contest is free to all CSUB students with a valid school ID card. While admission is free for students, a small parking fee has now been put into place for those without a valid CSUB parking pass.
CSUB’s entrance into the WAC has given new life to an already vibrant and growing athletic department. With all the excitement concerning the new school year, ’Runner Nation is reminded to keep calm, but get rowdy.