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Baylor still pursuing Australia game for 2016

DALLAS -- Baylor's quest to play a nonconference game in Australia next season is still alive.

In an appearance at Big 12 media days on Tuesday, Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw told reporters the university is seeking an NCAA waiver that would permit playing the game in late August, one week before the regular season begins on Sept. 3.

“We’re working on that process right now, and I think we’ll know one way or the other by the middle of August,” McCaw said.

That game will reportedly be against Cal, though McCaw could only confirm Baylor would face a Power 5 opponent.

Even if the NCAA approves the waiver, McCaw acknowledged there are a variety of logistical issues that would come with playing in Australia. For example, by playing the week before the regular season begins -- presumably on August 27, 2016 -- Baylor would have to reschedule the start of its fall camp and also likely take a bye week on Sept. 3.

The nonconference opener would have to be played on a Saturday morning in Australia, too, in order to air on television Friday night back home.

“So you’ve got television, travel, possible missed class time and a lot of different issues to work through,” McCaw said.

The Bears’ pursuit of playing overseas would be a bold step in their new efforts to bolster their future schedules. McCaw is also hoping to lock down another Power 5 game at a neutral site in the state of Texas before 2020.

Coach Art Briles is fully on board with taking on more nonconference challenges, McCaw said, and selling him on the potential opportunity to play in Australia wasn’t difficult.

“He was very excited about it from a recruiting standpoint, a unique cultural experience for our student-athletes and certainly a brand-builder,” McCaw said. “Our brand has grown a lot through the southwest and nationally, but a chance to grow your brand internationally is a very unique experience.”