Interim WAC commissioner named

LAS VEGAS -- Jeff Hurd has been appointed the interim commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference after longtime commissioner Karl Benson accepted the same position with the Sun Belt Conference.

The WAC announced Hurd's appointment on Friday. Hurd has been with the WAC since 1985 and currently serves as the senior associate commissioner for external affairs.

Benson is leaving the conference after 18 years as commissioner. Benson was originally supposed to be with the WAC until March 31, but said Friday that his final day with the WAC will be Thursday.

Benson also said discussions are ongoing with operators of the Orleans Arena about keeping the WAC basketball tournament in Las Vegas beyond the end of their deal that runs through this year's tournament. Benson says the WAC membership believes the Orleans Arena is "the right venue for the future."