USM heading into brave, new sports world today
Golden Eagles officially became Sun Belt Conference members July 1.
HATTIESBURG Miss. (WDAM) - For the first time in 26 years, the University of Southern Mississippi’s athletics will be playing on a whole, new field when it comes to conference competition.
As of midnight Friday morning the Golden Eagles officially became members of the Sun Belt Conference, one of three teams from Conference USA to bolt to the league.
USM announced its intentions this past fall to leave the conference it had helped found 26 years ago.
In fact, USM was the last of the founding members left in C-USA.
The Sun Belt welcomed Friday USM and fellow C-USA members, Marshall University and Old Dominion University, as well as James Madison University of the Colonial Athletic Association Conference.
That bumped the Sun Belt membership to 14 schools, including Appalachian State University; Arkansas State University; Coastal Carolina University; Georgia Southern University; Georgia State University; University of Louisiana-Lafayette; University of Louisiana-Monroe; University of South Alabama; Texas State University and Troy University.
Championships will be up for grabs in 18 sports, including nine men’s sports and nine women’s sports.
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