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Middle Tennessee State University staying in C-USA after league additions

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 16:15:29-05

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Middle Tennessee State is sticking with Conference USA after the league announced the addition of four new members starting in 2023.

President Sidney McPhee said in a statement posted on the school website that they’ve watched the Division I landscape for athletics change in the past several weeks.

McPhee said MTSU appreciated the interest that other conferences showed in its program. But he says they plan to work with the four remaining C-USA members and the league's new additions to rebrand itself as a premier conference in the Group of Five.

Read the full statement below:

Over the past several weeks, as we have watched the landscape for Division I athletics evolve, MTSU has been proactive and diligent in evaluating our opportunities, always with the best interests of the University as the singular guiding principle. We greatly appreciate the interest other conferences have shown in our athletics program and in our university, as they are a testament to the overall excellence of our institution, both athletically and academically. However, after careful consideration and due diligence, I am pleased to reaffirm our commitment to Conference USA.

With the addition of four new members, C-USA offers a strong footprint in the South and Southwest, providing opportunities to develop new regional rivalries, while staying connected to traditional opponents that our fans want. Building on the conference’s storied history of success, I believe our continued affiliation offers our Blue Raider community the greatest opportunity for success and should enhance our fan engagement.

Working with our four remaining members, as well as our new partners, Conference USA is poised to rebrand itself as a premier conference in the Group of 5. We look forward to the opportunities that our expanded relationship will provide and want to assure our fans that, regardless of conference affiliations, our goals remain the same, as we pursue championships in all our sports.

Sincerely,

Sidney A. McPhee

Liberty, Jacksonville State, New Mexico State and Sam Houston State are the new additions. McPhee says they give the conference a strong footprint in the South and Southwest.