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  1. #1
    Administrator EJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud ofEJ has much to be proud of EJ's Avatar
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    http://www.conferenceusa.com/sports/...ELEASE_ID=5839

    Conference USA Adds Five New Members; Commissioner Discusses Future Plans

    Marshall University, Rice University, Southern Methodist University (SMU), the University of Tulsa and the University of Central Florida (UCF), have officially entered into membership agreements with Conference USA, Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced today.

    “We are excited about adding new members and making structural improvements to Conference USA,” Banowsky said. “This is an opportunity for us to tighten our geography, group similar institutions together, create a divisional model, and possibly stage a football championship game. It will be very exciting to watch this league grow and develop.”

    “The Presidents and Chancellors of Conference USA universities are pleased to announce these five distinguished institutions have joined C-USA,” Dr. Shirley Raines, chair of Conference USA’s Board of Directors, said. “Known as a conference with exciting competition and nationally-recognized coaches, five new universities are joining other institutions committed to development of their student athletes, athletic programs, facilities and competition at the highest levels.”

    · Marshall has an enrollment of 16,551 and sponsors 16 sports. The football team has been to six consecutive bowl games and has won five straight – the longest active streak in the nation.

    · Rice has an enrollment of 4,785 and sponsors 16 sports. The Owls won the 2003 NCAA baseball championship and had a school-record 10 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections last season

    · SMU, with an enrollment of 10,038, sponsors 20 sports. The Mustangs boast a well-rounded athletic program, finishing third among Texas schools, eighth among private schools and 41st overall among 265 Division I-A programs in the final 2002-03 NACDA Cup.

    · Tulsa men’s basketball has compiled 131 wins in the last five seasons, ranking sixth nationally. The Golden Hurricane have been to the NCAA Tournament eight of the last 10 years and won the NIT Championship in 2001. TU has an enrollment of 4,100 and sponsors 18 sports.

    · UCF has an enrollment of 42,000 and sponsors 17 sports. UCF has earned 32 NCAA tournament berths in the past nine years, including eight different sports in the past five years.

    “As we expected, the conference has been notified that Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette and USF will leave to become members of the Big East Conference,” stated Banowsky. “We have worked closely with each of these universities during this difficult process and I applaud the professionalism and integrity that each institution has exhibited. Their contributions to Conference USA have been substantial and we look forward to continuing to work with them through the 2004-05 academic year.

    While we clearly would have preferred that no Big East expansion occur, that expectation was unrealistic given the actions of the ACC. We appreciate the honest and professional manner in which Mike Tranghese and the Big East approached this very challenging situation. We are excited about the opportunity to strengthen the conference and feel C-USA has the potential to be better in many ways.”

    The five institutions will join the league as full members on July 1, 2005 (profiles of each university are included below).


    Below is a transcript of an interview with Commissioner Banowsky:

    How will these changes affect the Conference?
    First, this is not a divorce; it is a restructuring that, for the most part, is logical. For months we have been preparing for this change and I view it as an opportunity to improve Conference USA.

    How do you feel about the schools that are leaving?
    I have the greatest respect for the institutions that are leaving the conference and have appreciated the highly professional way in which each of them has related to this process. When they move on, we will wish them well. Until then, we will continue to work closely with them and embrace them as our fellow members.

    Has this been a difficult process?
    Obviously, our preference would have been no change. However, when the ACC initiated its expansion, it became clear that it was going to be a huge challenge for the Big East and affect us and many others throughout major college athletics.

    What made this change more easily managed was the open and honest communication that we continue to share with Mike Tranghese and the other commissioners. I also give a lot of credit to our presidents and athletic directors. From the very beginning of this process, each has demonstrated a high level of respect for the Conference and each other.

    How do you feel about the schools that are joining the Conference?
    We are so pleased that these five great universities have agreed to be part of Conference USA. They represent some of the finest universities in the country and have demonstrated a commitment towards excellence in athletics. When you consider them collectively, you begin to appreciate the future potential of the Conference. We are happy they have agreed to be part of the league.

    When do you expect these changes to be effective?
    In a perfect world, when decisions are made they are immediately implemented. Major college athletics is not a perfect world; it is a very complex system of conferences and institutions, future schedules and business relationships. Although, I think most would like to see an immediate implementation, most also want to see the change occur in a stable, as opposed to a volatile, environment. For these reasons, I think most of the conferences involved believe 2005 is a reasonable effective date.

    What do you expect in the Conference between now and the time that the change is effective?
    Hopefully, we can return our focus to the business of the Conference. We expect this year to be our best ever and we are looking forward to some great bowl and championship events. I also expect our student-athletes and fans to enjoy and appreciate the competition as they always have.

    Do you expect other changes?
    We hope this concludes the restructuring, but realize that there may be more change. For example, although encouraged to stay, we recognize Saint Louis and Charlotte, the I-AAA members in the Conference, might prefer a more compatible competitive structure, which is understandable. You just never know, but whatever happens, we will be prepared.

    Profiles of the new Conference USA members are attached above.

  2. #2
    Champ weunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of lightweunice is a glorious beacon of light weunice's Avatar
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    I sure hope it doesn't conclude restructuring. We NEED TCU to accept an invite to the MWC.

  3. #3
    Champ GrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to allGrassyNoleHitman is a name known to all
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    While we clearly would have preferred that no Big East expansion occur, that expectation was unrealistic given the actions of the ACC.

    would it have been realistic had the BE sold UM, BC, and Cuse to the ACC back in 2000?

    We appreciate the honest and professional manner in which Mike Tranghese and the Big East approached this very challenging situation.

    this marks the first time in human history that "Mike Tranghese" and "honest and professional manner" have been used in the same sentence. i still cannot see what the BE did that the ACC didn't (other than lauch a media slander campaign against another conference and its own members)

    We are excited about the opportunity to strengthen the conference and feel C-USA has the potential to be better in many ways.”

    the expansion can hardly be considered a strengthening...

    I have the greatest respect for the institutions that are leaving the conference and have appreciated the highly professional way in which each of them has related to this process.

    kinda nifty how they are more respectful when you don't sue them....

    What made this change more easily managed was the open and honest communication that we continue to share with Mike Tranghese and the other commissioners. I also give a lot of credit to our presidents and athletic directors. From the very beginning of this process, each has demonstrated a high level of respect for the Conference and each other.

    kinda nifty how they are more respectful when you don't sue them....

    We hope this concludes the restructuring, but realize that there may be more change. For example, although encouraged to stay, we recognize Saint Louis and Charlotte, the I-AAA members in the Conference, might prefer a more compatible competitive structure, which is understandable. You just never know, but whatever happens, we will be prepared.

    "we will be prepared" words that the BE need to learn. if their conference wasn't a mess why would teams have wanted to leave?






    now lets just hope that TCU bolts and the invite comes to Tech. (otherwise it is back to the sunbelt)

  4. #4
    Champ TechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to beholdTechDawgMc is a splendid one to behold
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    We appreciate the honest and professional manner in which Mike Tranghese and the Big East approached this very challenging situation.

    this marks the first time in human history that "Mike Tranghese" and "honest and professional manner" have been used in the same sentence. i still cannot see what the BE did that the ACC didn't (other than lauch a media slander campaign against another conference and its own members)

    Very true. Basically all conference commissioners are just pimps. Tranghese makes it more obvious than others.

    I don't really understand why TCU wants out of Dodge so badly, but I hope they go.

    Really annoys me that a school with no tradition like UCF was taken over Tech -- it's all about money.

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