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Published: Friday, 6/18/2010

Utah officially accepts Pac-10 invitation


SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah accepted an invitation Thursday to become the 12th member of the newly expanded Pacific-10 Conference.

"Today is an absolutely great day to be a Ute," athletic director Chris Hill said before he was interrupted by applause. The room was packed with Utah dignitaries, boosters.

University of Utah president Michael Young made it official by signing the agreement, bringing another extended round of applause.

The announcement was held at Rice-Eccles Stadium, where the Utes have enjoyed two undefeated seasons in the last six years as members of the Mountain West. The Utes received invitations to the Bowl Championship Series in 2004 and 2008, but both were at-large bids. Utah is the first team from a non-BCS conference to reach the premier bowls twice.

Young noted that in football, the Utes are 7-3 against the Pac-10 in the last 10 meetings, including wins over Arizona in 2004 and Oregon State four years later during the Utes' two unbeaten runs to the BCS.

The Utes also have strong programs in men's and women's basketball, and women's gymnastics that could immediately compete in the Pac-10.

HONOLULU - The NCAA is allowing Southern California's season-opening football game against Hawaii to go on as scheduled. An NCAA spokesman said it's delaying for one year the penalty against USC that would have prevented the Trojans from playing a 13th game in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

The NCAA's Committee On Infractions considered several factors in making its decision: The game at Aloha Stadium has been scheduled for at least five years, it will be televised on ESPN, and many fans have already bought travel packages to attend the

Sept. 2 game.

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