Conference USA expects departing members to stay through 2022-2023

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Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 09:42:50-05

DALLAS, TX (WTKR)- Amid reports that three of its members, including Old Dominion, hope to be competing in the Sun Belt by the fall, Conference USA expects everybody to stay put through the end of their agreements.

“Conference USA acknowledges reports of three of our members prematurely departing," the league said in a statement released on Thursday. "We fully expect everyone to follow our bylaws and honor their contractual obligations through the 2022-23 academic year. All fourteen members will continue to be eligible for conference championships and the postseason opportunities Conference USA provides.”

Old Dominion announced that it had accepted the Sun Belt's invitation on October 27, noting that it would join "no later than July 1, 2023." The Monarchs, along with Marshall and Southern Mississippi, are making the jump from Conference USA to the Sun Belt. Reports have surfaced recently that the three programs would like to begin play in their new league this coming school year, prompting C-USA to make the statement.

James Madison will also be joining the Sun Belt, making the move from the CAA, where the Dukes' football team competes at the FCS level. That conference's bylaws state that programs that announce they plan to leave the Colonial will not be eligible to compete for conference championships, thus preventing JMU teams from league postseason tournaments and competitions prior to their official move.

ODU has been a member of Conference USA since 2013, winning seven conference championships across its sports.

Additionally, Hampton University is holding a press conference at 1 p.m., Tuesday and we expect to learn more from this 'major announcement.'