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Reports: Sun Belt Conference looking to add Marshall, three other schools

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University athletics may be leaving Conference USA and on the way to the Sun Belt Conference, according to multiple national media outlets.

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported Friday afternoon that the Sun Belt will invite four schools to join, including Marshall, as soon as next week. The other three schools included in the report are fellow Conference USA members Southern Miss and Old Dominion as well as current FCS football member James Madison.

The Athletic’s Chris Vannini has stated that the league feels confident in adding those four institutions, but “has not yet secured commitments from all of them, per sources.”

Conference USA lost six schools earlier this week when UAB, Florida Atlantic, Rice, North Texas, UTSA and Charlotte had their applications for membership into the American Athletic Conference approved. That left the conference with eight schools including Marshall, Old Dominion, Southern Miss, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, FIU, UTEP, and Louisiana Tech.

One hold up to an official deal with the Sun Belt may be Conference USA making a last-ditch effort to keep Marshall and Old Dominion while adding James Madison and Liberty, according to the Action Network.

In football, the Sun Belt Conference has 10 members that includes an East Division of Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, Troy, Georgia State, and Georgia Southern. The West Division includes Louisiana, Texas State, South Alabama, ULM, and Arkansas State.

Next week is already scheduled to be an important week for Marshall, as the university’s Board of Governors will name a new president on Oct. 28.

Marshall Board of Governors Chairman Patrick Farrell said Friday that the institution will give the new president a chance to provide input on the conference affiliation.





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