Southern Miss, Marshall, and Old Dominion will join the Sun Belt effective July 1, 2022, Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported Friday.
Old Dominion, Marshall & Southern Miss all leaving Conference USA to join Sun Belt on July 1 this year. James Madison also joins Sun Belt on July 1
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) February 11, 2022
As McMurphy mentioned, James Madison will also join the circuit on July 1.
The conference divisions will break down this way, per McMurphy:
West: Arkansas State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State, Southern Miss, Troy
East: Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, James Madison, Marshall, ODU
Old Dominion released a statement earlier Friday regarding its departure from Conference USA. The statement indicates, in part:
Old Dominion University will terminate its membership in Conference USA effective June 30, 2022. The University will not participate in Conference USA during the 2022-23 season. This decision comes after considering the best interests of the University and the Monarch family, including our 500 student-athletes and hundreds of thousands of alumni and fans.
The University first advised the Conference in early December 2021 of the University’s plans to terminate its membership in June 2022. Since then, the University has clearly and consistently repeated its intentions to the Conference. The University offered to cooperate with the Conference to ensure that all remaining C-USA members had complete competitive schedules for those sports in which the University competes. The Conference refuses to discuss such an arrangement with the University. The remaining members of Conference USA deserve certainty about their schedules as they plan for competition next year. For their sake, the University makes public its intent.
Southern Miss released a similar statement, with this addendum:
The Conference’s unwillingness to discuss the concept of separation this year creates confusion and doubt for all concerned. The remaining members of Conference USA deserve certainty about their schedules as they plan for competition next year. For their sake, the University makes public its intent.
More details on this move will be shared as they become available.