Southern Miss, Marshall and Old Dominion announce early CUSA departure

Published 3:56 pm Friday, February 11, 2022

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Southern Miss, Old Dominion and Marshall announced on Feb. 11 their intention to sever ties with Conference USA effective June 30, a year earlier than originally planned.

In 2021, those schools announced their intentions of joining the Sun Belt no later than June of 2023. FCS school James Madison also announced last year their intention of joining the Sun Belt, moving up from FCS, in 2022.

Southern Miss, Old Dominion and Marshall each released statements at 3 p.m. on Feb. 11 announcing their intention to sever ties with Conference USA effective June 30, 2022.

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According to Extra Points, CUSA bylaws state that schools are required to give 14 months of advance notice and pay two years of conference distribution to leave the conference. Each CUSA school received $200,000 per year from the conference since 2016.

“The university first advice Conference USA in early December 2021 of the university’s plans to terminate its membership in June 2022,” a statement from Southern Miss read. “Since then, the university has clearly and consistency repeated its intentions to the conference.

“The university has from the outset expressed its desire to work with Conference USA to achieve an amicable separation, including offering to cooperate to ensure that all remaining conference members had complete competitive schedules for those sports in which the university competes. Conference USA has refused to discuss any such arrangement with the university.”

According to Brett McMurphy of the Action Network, the Sun Belt intends to align its football divisions with Troy, Southern Miss, Texas State, South Alabama, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana and Arkansas State in the west, while Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, James Madison, Marshall and Old Dominion in the east.