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SUN BELT MEMBERS AFFIRM SOLIDARITY!!!

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SUN BELT MEMBERS AFFIRM SOLIDARITY!!!

SUN BELT MEMBERS AFFIRM SOLIDARITY TO CONFERENCE!!!

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News

Sun Belt Leaders Commit to Conference
League CEO's excited to be a part of growing league
April 30th, 2004



NEW ORLEANS ? The Chief Executive Officers of the Sun Belt Conference today affirmed their commitment to the league.



"We feel that during this historical time in college athletics it is important to publicly affirm the solidarity of the membership of the Sun Belt Conference," said Dr. Norval Pohl, President of the University of North Texas and President of the Sun Belt Conference.



"We have continued to grow stronger as a conference, including the moves to become a more regionalized league. We are committed to competing at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics through the efforts of our member schools and the conference office."



"The Sun Belt Conference is on the cusp of significant success," said Dr. Gary Ransdell, President of Western Kentucky University and a Past President of the Sun Belt Conference. "It is an emerging league with strong institutions. Its members anticipate its future with great eagerness."



"With this confirmation from the CEOs, the league also reaffirms its commitment to Idaho and Denver that they will have a home with the Sun Belt Conference, but we anticipate opportunities in the near future that will address their travel concerns," explained Wright Waters, Commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference. "We recognize the need to still add one additional I-A institution as a full-time member. We believe this can be accomplished prior to July 1."



Since its establishment in 1976, the Sun Belt Conference has been on an evolutionary journey, advancing to the highest level of competition in intercollegiate athletics in every championship sport.



With the addition of I-A football to the Sun Belt in 2001, the league is one of only 11 conferences competing at this level and beginning in 2006 the Sun Belt will be recognized as a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) member.



In recent years women's participation has increased by 69.3 percent with the addition of softball (2000), soccer (2000) and swimming & diving (2000-01). With the opportunity to compete for a conference title several members added teams in those sports - softball (North Texas, Western Kentucky); soccer (Arkansas State, Louisiana, Western Kentucky); swimming & diving (Florida

International, New Orleans).



The league's student-athletes continue to advance in the classroom, which is reflected by increases in membership graduation rates and an increase in the number of student-athletes recognized on the annual Sun Belt Conference Commissioner's List and Honor Roll.



Member institutions continue to make on-campus improvements to Student-Athlete Services programs and athletics facilities. Members have recently spent more than $340 million in facilities construction, renovation and upgrades with nearly $190 million in future projects scheduled over the next decade.



Members of the Sun Belt Conference (with year of admission) for the 2005-06 season will include: Arkansas State University (1991), Florida Atlantic University (football 2005; full 2006), Florida International University (1998; football 2005), Middle Tennessee State University (2000), Troy State University (football 2004; full 2005), University of Arkansas at Little Rock(1991), University of Denver (1999), University of Idaho (football 2001; full 2005), University of Louisiana at Lafayette (1991), University of New Orleans (1976-80; rejoined in 1991), University of North Texas (2000), University of South Alabama (1976), and Western Kentucky University (1982).


The University of Louisiana at Monroe (2001) will continue as an affiliate member in football and swimming & diving.

?SUN BELT CONFERENCE ?<br>
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SUN BELT MEMBERS AFFIRM SOLIDARITY!!!

I wonder will they make members sign stiffer ANTI-DEFECTION contracts.
The Big East and ACC was entertaining the idea.
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SUN BELT MEMBERS AFFIRM SOLIDARITY!!!

The SBC commissioner must be under a lot of pressure these days trying to keep the current members from jumping ship. With all these re-alingment talks something good can actually come from all of this - having different conferences fighting for over schools from the SBC could help make the SBC stronger in the long run. Competion has a way of forcing you you to improve your product or else you are left behind.

If the SBC can retain all of it's current members and the league has a chance to settle down with the new members coming in & with an up coming BCS affiliation, only good things can happens from here.

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SUN BELT MEMBERS AFFIRM SOLIDARITY!!!


The SBC commissioner must be under a lot of pressure these days trying to keep the current members from jumping ship. With all these re-alingment talks something good can actually come from all of this - having different conferences fighting for over schools from the SBC could help make the SBC stronger in the long run. Competion has a way of forcing you you to improve your product or else you are left behind.

If the SBC can retain all of it's current members and the league has a chance to settle down with the new members coming in & with an up coming BCS affiliation, only good things can happens from here.



Waters is a strong personality and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if he wasn't the guy that was putting pressure on the members to do something.

I knew that the all-sports schools from the Western end of the Sun Belt weren't interested in joining the WAC but others couldn't be convinced of that fact. An affirmation of solidarity was important.

Hopefully Louisiana Tech will see the insanity of remaining in the WAC with their nearest rival being New Mexico State 1,000 miles away and re-join the SBC. That would make us one of the few leagues that came out ahead by all of this reshuffling of the past year. It will mean that we upgraded ourselves AND became regional. I've heard that Idaho and Denver will be leaving soon.

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