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The end of the Sun Belt

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The end of the Sun Belt

It just occured to me, NCAA rules state their must be at least 8 teams in order for them to reconize your conference. Even if a act of God enables us to reach the 15,000 avg. attendence required FIU still didnt, and with all the teams moving to the WAC next year from the sunbelt their are only going to be 7 teams. What will become of the sunbelt.
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The end of the Sun Belt

This could very well be the reason the SBC will be fighting this attendance issue along side with us and FIU.

One big class action suit with everyone banding together could make enough noise to get the NCAA board members attention. This could very well be the start of more changes that are needed.
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The end of the Sun Belt

Nah, A) the attendence rule takes at least a couple years to take effect. I.e. you'd need to not meet 15K for at least 2 years b/f getting demoted. I'm not sure, but there is something different w/ FIU/FAU being provisional, either they get an extra year, or they stay provisional for an extrayear for not meeting the requirement.
REgardless, they will be allowed to count for the SBC next year, after that ??

Hay
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The end of the Sun Belt

The SBC I am not worried about because they can do pretty much what they want as a conference, within reason, but each conference does have some flexibility.

Just look at what the conference did this year, three of our games counted as conference game & all games we played against SBC opponenet counted as 1-A games.
It's the OC games I am more concerned about - the Louisville, Kansas & Oklahoma St. games, the ones we needs not only for exposure, but the experience. You don't want a bad rap scheduling these team before we get to 1-A either.

I would have rather deal with this stuff after the season ends, I refuse to let what this team has accomplished get overshadowed by all this. They deserve our support & full attention on Saturday.

Go Owls!!

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The end of the Sun Belt


.e. you'd need to not meet 15K for at least 2 years b/f getting demoted.
Thats assuming you already have 8 in there, after this year since us and FIU are not getting in with the attendence rule they will only have 6 teams
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The end of the Sun Belt

will the owls and panthers count as 1a competition next year for teams we play?

I remember hawaii crying that their premature win against us wouldn't count as a 1A win for their bowl campaign…….. that never happened.
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The end of the Sun Belt

we count as a win for them unless we hit the 37,000 mark this weekend
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The end of the Sun Belt

SunBelt will fight for FAU and FIU

By Ted Hutton
Sun-Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted November 30 2004

Florida Atlantic and Florida International can count on Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters to lobby the NCAA to drop or alter the rule regarding minimum attendance for Division I-A teams.

The Sun Belt has a lot at stake, since FAU and FIU are scheduled to join next season and give the conference the eight members it needs to stay viable. Three of the nine current teams are leaving for the Western Athletic Conference after this season.

"I don't think schools should be held accountable for something that is beyond their control," Waters said about the 15,000-average in home attendance the NCAA now requires for teams to move up to or remain in Division I-A.

Waters is especially concerned since current members Middle Tennessee State and Louisiana-Monroe each averaged less than 15,000 this season, putting their status as I-A teams in jeopardy if the rule remains in place.

The Sun Belt needs eight football members to be recognized by the NCAA.

FAU and FIU have already met the other criteria for I-A membership, including providing 200 total scholarships and sponsoring a minimum of 16 varsity sports, but FIU has already missed the attendance mark, and FAU will likely join them unless the Owls can draw 37,341 to Saturday's game against FIU at Pro Player Stadium.

FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger sees the issue as a Catch-22.

"When we get to the level where we can play teams like Oklahoma State, then we will get the crowds we need," Schnellenberger said, referring to next season's tentative home opener against the Cowboys.

Wright said in addition to arguing that weather and other factors that a university cannot control influence attendance, the attendance rule also could have negative impact in other areas.

Schools that fail to meet the minimum attendance two years in a row will be put on restricted status and not be eligible for a bowl, and Waters said that could be used against those schools in recruiting, further weakening them.

Another result could be more coaches being fired.

"Two proven ways to draw more fans are winning and changing coaches," Waters said, "and many schools may choose the latter because that is easier."

FIU and FAU are the only two schools currently in the two-year transition phase, and how they will be treated by the NCAA is unclear.

They both are required to make a presentation to a subcommittee that oversees transition teams to show that they have met the criteria.

If they have not, they will have to repeat the first year over again, meaning they would not become eligible for a bowl until 2006 instead of 2005, as long as they reach the minimum attendance next season.

Another alternative, if the Board of Directors leaves the attendance limit in place, is to make an appeal to the NCAA Administrative Review Subcommittee and argue that extraordinary circumstances contributed to not meeting the goal.

"I think if neither of us make it we have legitimate appeals," FIU Athletic Director Rick Mello said, citing the hurricanes that canceled one of FIU's games and forced FIU and FAU to each postpone another.

"I've got to believe there is a good chance they could be successful," Wright said about potential appeals.

Ted Hutton can be reached at [email protected]
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