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Report: Sun Belt-bound schools reach deal with C-USA

Sportsnaut
Dec 18, 2020; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; UAB Blazers players celebrate after defeating the Marshall Thundering Herd for the Conference USA Championship at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Miss have reached a separation agreement with Conference USA to depart for the Sun Belt this year, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The reported deal comes more than a month after C-USA threatened legal action against the schools for failing to give 14 months’ notice before leaving the conference, per league bylaws. The conference filed for arbitration, with the three schools filing for temporary injunctions against arbitration.

The three schools are on the Sun Belt football schedule for 2022. Meanwhile, C-USA will play with 11 members in 2022 and is expected to release a new schedule soon; the three schools were on C-USA’s schedule for 2022, as well.

C-USA’s football schedule had included 14 schools split into divisions of seven. The East Division is losing Marshall and Old Dominion, and the West is losing Southern Miss.

Six other current C-USA institutions — Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA — will eventually join the American Athletic Conference, but have not expressed intention to make the move in 2022.

Liberty, New Mexico State, Jacksonville State and Sam Houston will eventually join C-USA.

–Field Level Media