USM to ‘terminate’ relations with Conference USA at end of June

The University of Southern Mississippi announced its intentions Friday to terminate its...
The University of Southern Mississippi announced its intentions Friday to terminate its membership in Conference USA come June 30.(WDAM)
Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 2:47 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi has notified Conference USA that it intends to sever its membership in the league on Jun 30, 2022.

What’s not clear: What the university’s plans are for the 2022-23 athletic calendar.

Earlier, the Golden Eagles had announced earlier that it would leave C-USA after the 2022-23 academic year to join the Sun Belt Conference for 2023-24.

A four-paragraph release Friday afternoon spelled out the university’s rationale for leaving C-USA a year early, but did not say whether it would join the Sun Belt a year ahead of schedule or simply operate as an independent for a year.

USM’s release Friday:

“The University of Southern Mississippi will terminate its membership in Conference USA effective June 30, 2022. The University will not participate in Conference USA during the 2022-23 academic year. This decision comes after considering the best interests of the University and the entire Golden Eagle family, including nearly 350 student-athletes and thousands of fans and supporters.

“The University first advised Conference USA in early December 2021 of the University’s plans to terminate its membership in June 2022. Since then, the University has clearly and consistently repeated its intentions to the conference. The University has from the outset expressed its desire to work with Conference USA to achieve an amicable separation, including offering to cooperate to ensure that all remaining conference members had complete competitive schedules for those sports in which the University competes. Conference USA has so far refused to discuss any such arrangement with the University.

“The Conference’s unwillingness to discuss the concept of separation this year creates confusion and doubt for all concerned. 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.

“While the University appreciates its time and experience as a Conference USA member, that time will end on June 30, 2022. We wish Conference USA and its membership success in the future.”

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