ODU announces plan to leave Conference USA in June

S.B. Ballard Stadium
Posted at 3:30 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 18:21:45-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion University has announced it will leave Conference USA come June 30, 2022.

This means they will not participate in the conference for the 2022-23 athletic season.

ODU said they first told the Conference about their intentions in early December 2021 and added that since then, the University "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," the university said in a press release Friday.

Two other institutions, Marshall and Southern Mississippi, released similar statements around the same time Old Dominion did on Friday afternoon. All three athletic programs plan to terminate their Conference USA membership on June 30 of this year.

Back in October, Old Dominion accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference "no later than July 1, 2023." While the Monarchs' statement did not address its Sun Belt membership timetable, one could draw the conclusion that ODU will likely begin play in its new league this coming school year. Marshall and Southern Mississippi also will become new Sun Belt members.

Conference USA responded to News 3's request for a statement with the following:

“There is major realignment happening across the collegiate athletics landscape. All conferences and their members have agreed upon bylaws and contractual obligations for when transition occurs. We have chosen not to engage publicly, but have communicated with our member institutions and expect them to meet those obligations.”

Six other Conference USA schools are set to depart for the American Athletic Conference. Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, Rice, North Texas, Texas-San Antonio and Alabama-Birmingham will be jumping to the AAC. Not date has been announced for those schools' departure, but ESPN reported in October that the earliest they could join would be the 2023-2024 school year.

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