Southern Miss, Old Dominion and Marshall announced this afternoon their intentions to leave Conference USA, effective June 30, 2022. This summer’s departure date is an expedited mark from the July 1, 2023 timeline that was announced by the programs in October, when the schools originally announced their intentions to leave for the Sun Belt Conference.
Each program released statements announcing that they would no longer compete in Conference USA following June 30, while not announcing a specific destination following that date. Both the Sun Belt and Conference USA have not released statements at the time.
In each of the three statements, each program states that they “(A)dvised the Conference in early December 2021 of the plans to terminate its membership.”
The move leaves Conference USA, which had just sent the 2022 football schedule out internally to its members, with the potential of multiple schools having open dates for the upcoming season.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, one of the options would be to remain to play an 11-game schedule with eight conference games - similarly to how the American Athletic Conference has done.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation. One of the more viable options on the table, should ODU, Southern Miss and Marshall not remain in C-USA is for to play an 11-game schedule with eight conference games - similarly to the American, for example. https://t.co/EApe89eAso— Eric Henry (@EricCHenry_) February 11, 2022
Conference USA’s bylaws state that the departing institutions are required to give 14 months of advance discover and pay two years' worth of funds distribution to depart. At the moment, it appears as if the three institutions will seek to subvert the bylaws, in order to find a new home this year.
The league also released this statement, following the news of the three member institutions' intention to depart in 2022.
C-USA is set to welcome Liberty, New Mexico State, Sam Houston State and Jacksonville State to the league, no later than the start of the 2023-2024 athletic year.