Sunbelt Realignment News
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Author:  Quinn [ Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:11 am ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

New Mexico State and Utah State are leaving to join the WAC, but FAU might be in the Sunbelt plans. If the WAC doesn't bring anymore schools, the Sunbelt would only need 1 more school after FAU.

Curious, If Temple is not brought back to the Big East as a football only member, I wonder if they would have any interest in joining as a FB only member? Doubtful.

Author:  Quinn [ Fri Oct 24, 2003 8:48 am ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

Author:  Quinn [ Fri Oct 24, 2003 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

Author:  accseahawk [ Fri Oct 24, 2003 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

from these articles it sound like the sunbelt commish is very understanding of utah st. and new mexico st. and their desire to move. very un-big east like.

Author:  footballgodaway [ Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:59 am ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

Headline Central
October 28, 2003

NCAA president Myles Brand; future of ACC and WAC
Being a prophet apparently was not a job requirement for first-year NCAA president Myles Brand. That and this report from the New Orleans Times-Picayune's Ted Lewis
"I would be careful to project that there will be a major ripple," Brand said in the spring when the Atlantic Coast Conference announced it was expanding by three teams. "There may or may not be. There certainly will be in the ACC and the Big East, and possibly Conference USA. But will it spread? Maybe. I wouldn't be so quick to judge."

Well, Dr. Brand, what others were saying would happen while you were withholding your opinion has come to pass -- a seismic shift that's now affecting schools that aren't yet members of Division I-A.

Sun Belt Conference commissioner Wright Waters, in an effort to keep his fledgling league viable in football, was at Western Kentucky, Florida International and Florida Atlantic this week to nail down their commitments to move up from I-AA by 2005 so that the Sun Belt can be assured of having the minimum eight members required to be recognized by the NCAA as a I-A conference.

"I don't know where this ends," said Waters, whose New Orleans-based conference lost New Mexico State and Utah State to the Western Athletic Conference this week and could see North Texas or Louisiana-Lafayette go as well. "This business is just going crazy."

By the time all of the shuffling has ended, at least seven of the 11 I-A conferences could have a different look.

That is, if all 11 are still around in two years.

If the Mountain West decides to expand by four -- WAC members Hawaii, Nevada, Fresno State and Boise State all have their hands in the air hoping to be picked -- there won't be enough I-A schools remaining in the Mountain and Pacific time zones to preserve the 42-year-old WAC, which last week lost SMU, Tulsa and Rice to Conference USA.

"You're not going to see the end of the WAC," commissioner Karl Benson said. "This league has always been resilient. We've gone through Arizona and Arizona State leaving in 1978 and the eight schools breaking off to form the Mountain West. This will be much easier to overcome, believe me."

As Benson pointed out, changing conference alignments is a constant factor in college sports. But this time it's different.

The BCS/non-BCS divide has schools falling on the wrong side of the equation forsaking old ties left and right to be perceived as being higher on the ladder.

Witness Louisiana Tech doing all it can to avoid returning to the Sun Belt, from which it left for the WAC in 2001 before Sun Belt football play began.

Bulldogs athletic director Jim Oakes apparently doesn't have the words "Sun Belt" in his vocabulary, certainly not when asked what would be the most logical league for his school. Oakes holds out hope that C-USA will come calling, or that the WAC will find the Bulldogs a Central time zone travel partner, hence the courting of North Texas and ULL.

Failing that, he's willing to stay in the WAC, even though his closest conference foe would be UTEP, 790 miles away.

Speculating usually has proven fruitless in this process, but here's my guess on how things will develop in the next couple of weeks: Western Kentucky, Florida International and Florida Atlantic will commit to the Sun Belt by 2005. North Texas will jump to the WAC, but Louisiana-Lafayette will stay put.

That puts the Sun Belt at eight football schools with Florida A&M and Louisiana-Monroe under consideration for full membership.

The Mountain West, chiefly because of indecision created by the presence of five new presidents and four new athletic directors, decides to stay put for now, saving the WAC.

South Florida joins the Big East and Marshall joins Conference USA, with Central Florida delaying a decision until after the Nov. 4 vote by the Big East on possible football-only membership. If Central Florida takes that bid, look for C-USA to go after Navy for football only, keeping Charlotte in all other sports.

And after it's over, everyone will smile, shake hands and say how proud they are to be associated with such fine institutions.

But there's a feeling out there that we've lost something in the process.

"We're doing things that are detrimental to college football," said Middle Tennessee athletic director Boots Donnelly. "Basically, it's become every man for himself. That's not what college athletics is supposed to be about."

Unfortunately, too often these days, it is. That and this report from the New Orleans Times-Picayune's Ted Lewis

Author:  westwolf [ Tue Oct 28, 2003 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

Navy would have no interest in CUSA, particularly now that Army is bailing out. Perhaps a football-only offer from BE to Army and Navy would entice the academies, but I doubt that will happen.

I hate to see these schoold like FAMU and FIU streching to get up to IA membership. WE need fewer rather than more at the top level.

Author:  accseahawk [ Thu Nov 20, 2003 12:06 am ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

more news hot off the presses,0,2112244.story?coll=sfla-sports-headlines

looks like the sunbelt is looking to make up for the loss of its western schools.

Author:  westwolf [ Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

It's hard to see Idaho staying in the SB. They will need another southern school. Maybe two if N. Texas moves to the WAC.

Author:  Quinn [ Fri Dec 05, 2003 8:56 am ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

FAU yesterday, FIU today...

Author:  lash [ Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

Wow, can we finally say that the Sun Belt has un officially moved it self to 1AA status.

Some of the Miami high schools may have been better expansion canidates or at the very least have better attendance averages.

I sure hope the NCAA is not allowing grandfathering of these 1A wannabees.

When will the madness stop.

Author:  stevuscaticus [ Fri Dec 05, 2003 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

Wow, can we finally say that the Sun Belt has un officially moved it self to 1AA status.

Some of the Miami high schools may have been better expansion canidates or at the very least have better attendance averages.

I sure hope the NCAA is not allowing grandfathering of these 1A wannabees.

When will the madness stop.

I agree Lash. It seems every couple of years (and sometimes every year) that some SWTSPA&MUWCC (that's SOUTHWEST TEXAS STATE POLYTECHNIC AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN COMMUNITY COLLEGE) is "uprading" to I-A. With notable exceptions (Boise State, South Florida, Marshall, maybe some others I am not recalling at the moment), most of these do not belong and have had some really great I-AA football just go to the Dogs (NLU, now ULM, who has not had a winning season in I-A, is a good example) and seem more a "downgrade" in status than upgrade. The NCAA has got to get a handle on this. The soon to be in place standards may help some, but believe it or not, I have mixed feelings about it. This is because I have just gotten used to some ideas. Take the MAC for instance. I'd hate to see Kent State go. I've just really gotten used to seeing them as one of the more traditional whipping boys of that conference.

I quote javaman: "Sometimes schools just naturally belong in a conference because they are the very basis for the regional identity, heritage, and very definition of what makes the conference what it is."

Of course, he was speaking in an SEC post, but I apply it as a great quote to this as well for my own purposes.

I guess I'm just saying that I wish I-A would be more stable. However, I'd hate to see some schools go due to the new requirements.

Author:  bullet [ Sat Dec 06, 2003 4:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

Lash, what do you mean "unofficially?" That may be an upgrade! Sun Belt was 3-34 this year vs. I-A. And two of those wins were over future member Troy St. Official I-AA schools were 10-62, a much better %. SB was 4-5 vs. I-AA.

Author:  westwolf [ Sat Dec 06, 2003 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

I agree with Lash. The public doesn't need more marginal schools in I-A.

Author:  Quinn [ Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News

Author:  californiacajun [ Fri Apr 30, 2004 7:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Sunbelt Realignment News


Sun Belt Leaders Commit to Conference
League CEO's excited to be a part of growing league
April 30th, 2004


NEW ORLEANS — The Chief Executive Officers of the Sun Belt Conference today affirmed their commitment to the league.

"We feel that during this historical time in college athletics it is important to publicly affirm the solidarity of the membership of the Sun Belt Conference," said Dr. Norval Pohl, President of the University of North Texas and President of the Sun Belt Conference.

"We have continued to grow stronger as a conference, including the moves to become a more regionalized league. We are committed to competing at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics through the efforts of our member schools and the conference office."

"The Sun Belt Conference is on the cusp of significant success," said Dr. Gary Ransdell, President of Western Kentucky University and a Past President of the Sun Belt Conference. "It is an emerging league with strong institutions. Its members anticipate its future with great eagerness."

"With this confirmation from the CEOs, the league also reaffirms its commitment to Idaho and Denver that they will have a home with the Sun Belt Conference, but we anticipate opportunities in the near future that will address their travel concerns," explained Wright Waters, Commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference. "We recognize the need to still add one additional I-A institution as a full-time member. We believe this can be accomplished prior to July 1."

Since its establishment in 1976, the Sun Belt Conference has been on an evolutionary journey, advancing to the highest level of competition in intercollegiate athletics in every championship sport.

With the addition of I-A football to the Sun Belt in 2001, the league is one of only 11 conferences competing at this level and beginning in 2006 the Sun Belt will be recognized as a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) member.

In recent years women's participation has increased by 69.3 percent with the addition of softball (2000), soccer (2000) and swimming & diving (2000-01). With the opportunity to compete for a conference title several members added teams in those sports - softball (North Texas, Western Kentucky); soccer (Arkansas State, Louisiana, Western Kentucky); swimming & diving (Florida

International, New Orleans).

The league's student-athletes continue to advance in the classroom, which is reflected by increases in membership graduation rates and an increase in the number of student-athletes recognized on the annual Sun Belt Conference Commissioner's List and Honor Roll.

Member institutions continue to make on-campus improvements to Student-Athlete Services programs and athletics facilities. Members have recently spent more than $340 million in facilities construction, renovation and upgrades with nearly $190 million in future projects scheduled over the next decade.

Members of the Sun Belt Conference (with year of admission) for the 2005-06 season will include: Arkansas State University (1991), Florida Atlantic University (football 2005; full 2006), Florida International University (1998; football 2005), Middle Tennessee State University (2000), Troy State University (football 2004; full 2005), University of Arkansas at Little Rock(1991), University of Denver (1999), University of Idaho (football 2001; full 2005), University of Louisiana at Lafayette (1991), University of New Orleans (1976-80; rejoined in 1991), University of North Texas (2000), University of South Alabama (1976), and Western Kentucky University (1982).

The University of Louisiana at Monroe (2001) will continue as an affiliate member in football and swimming & diving.


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