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The Western Athletic Conference does not plan to replace departing Boise State for the 2011-12 season.

Commissioner Karl Benson announced Tuesday that the conference will operate with eight members in 2011-12 and won't add schools until July 1, 2012, at the earliest.

Boise State has accepted an invitation to join the Mountain West Conference after this season.

"Over the past few weeks, the WAC's Board of Directors and athletics directors have explored several membership options," Benson said. "We believe it is in the best interest of the WAC to operate as an eight-team league for the 2011-12 season."

Benson said the league will take several months to look into various membership options before making any decisions for the 2012-13 season.

The WAC's remaining members are Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State.

Change has been a constant for the Western Athletic Conference since it was established in 1962.

None of the original members are still in the league, and in 1999, after it had expanded to 16 teams, eight of its most prominent programs, including Utah, BYU and Air Force, broke away to form the Mountain West.

Boise State, which joined in 2001, had become the conference's marquee and most successful football program in recent years. The Broncos have played in the BCS twice.

Benson had said he expected to announce the addition of another member or two this summer.

But instead those plans were put on hold. Benson said the league will look at scenarios with various numbers of schools, including a 12-member conference that would allow the WAC to hold a football league championship game.

more conference switching: Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn said he hopes to know within a month how much it's going to cost the school to bolt the Big 12 for the Pac-10. Lawyers are discussing an exit strategy for Colorado, which announced this month it would switch leagues in 2012.

USF: FSU assistant Chris Malloy was hired as men's golf coach. Malloy, 32, helped the Seminoles to the ACC title in 2008 and a third-place finish in this year's NCAA championships. He replaces Jim Fee, who after 14 seasons moved this month into a new job as director of athletic events and championships.

Basketball: CBS will broadcast the second Duke-North Carolina men's game next season in prime time. The Blue Devils' visit to Chapel Hill will be the first time a game in the rivalry will air in prime time on a non-cable network. The game is 8 p.m. March 5.

Football: A statue of Alabama coach Nick Saban might not be ready in time for the Sept. 4 season opener against San Jose State. Thad Turnipseed, the Crimson Tide's director of athletic facilities, said the unveiling might have to wait until midseason in order to get the statue, honoring Saban for the program's national title last season, just right. The four previous Tide coaches to win national titles have statues outside the stadium: Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Paul "Bear" Bryant and Gene Stallings. Turnipseed said the first two 3D photos of a clay model of the Saban statue were rejected partly because the face and hair weren't right. Saban, wife Terry and Alabama athletic director Mal Moore will soon be presented with a third version.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.