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FAU says it’s staying in the Sun Belt (for now)

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If a report released earlier this week from Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News holds up, Conference USA and the Mountain West will announce a merger — not just a football-only association — some time within the next month.

If/when that happens, just how big the new conference will be remains uncertain. It’s believed, although far from confirmed, that the new C-USA/MWC merger would look into Florida and Texas to expand.

Sun Belt, you’re under the microscope.

But one team you can cross off the list — for now — to join that merger is FAU. School president Mary Jane Saunders told Owl Access on Friday that FAU has “not been invited to another conference… I think those decisions have already been made. I think it’s finished now. …We’re staying in the Sun Belt.”

FAU AD Craig Angelos, who was fired last week, also told the site there were no conversations between the two conferences and FAU.

But the Sun Belt could still stand to be raided, along with the WAC (again) and perhaps a team from the 1-AA ranks — or a combination of the three. FIU, Middle Tennessee and North Texas have all been connected to the merger before, and as Wilner explains in his blog, the merger could have greater ramifications than any realignment or expansion we’ve seen to date.

Which combination strikes up the best media deal will dictate which programs are included, if any, and which are forced to fend for themselves in a potentially undermanned league.

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6 Responses to “FAU says it’s staying in the Sun Belt (for now)”
  1. thegamecocker says: Mar 25, 2012 7:24 PM

    Why was Craig Angelos fired? What is the story here? Why is Mary Jane Saunders involved with this at all? They should have fired their football coach. He’s a little Momma’s boy.

  2. txstatebobcats1868 says: Mar 25, 2012 11:52 PM

    Even though they aren’t starting their first season in d1 until this up coming season Texas state would be a way better choice than north Texas…

  3. freddieoh says: Mar 26, 2012 12:06 AM

    Dude, the MWC issued an official release on this back in February: themwc com genrel 021312aab html; stop acting like this is all from the San Jose newspaper.

  4. freddieoh says: Mar 26, 2012 12:06 AM

  5. Ben Kercheval says: Mar 26, 2012 1:29 PM

    As I understand it, freddieoh, dissolving, which is what the was reported last month, involves forfeiting money from the NCAA tournament. Merging the conferences — again, as I understand it — would allow the two to keep their NCAA money on top of not having to scrap whatever TV deal they have presently.

    The language suggest six of one, half-dozen of the other, but in fact it is not.

  6. freddieoh says: Mar 26, 2012 6:59 PM

    Nice catchup job Ben, with your post today about dissolving vs. merging vs. remaining separate but in an alliance; those indeed are the questions that have been on the table for the contemplated all-sports association since its February announcement.

    But until today you’ve been taking the angle, starting with your March 20 post, that the “news” was that the plans were more expansive than the “football-only association” that was announced in October.

    In fact, your March 20 post seems to overlook John’s February 13 post, with his earlier post actually including considerably more detail though it too deployed the six of one, half-dozen of the other approach to dissolution vs. merger.

    But so glad you guys are getting up to speed now though!

    It’ll indeed be interesting to see how in the next few months the institutions “develop the operational issues essential to the formation of the association,” and what the fallout for the Sun Belt and WAC, etc., will be.

    And yes, Jon Wilner does do great work.

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