The Sun Belt Conference is convening their annual spring meeting in Destin, FL full of participation and excitement by current and future members.As the meetings convene all members are present along with newly added members in South Alabama, UL-Monroe, UL-Lafayette, Arkansas State, Troy, UALR, UT-Arlington, Georgia State, Texas State and recently added members New Mexico State, Idaho, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State. All members are expected to discuss a wide range of items during this annual meeting in Destin.
Here are some of the important items up for discussion by our league Presidents, Athletic Directors and Coaches. Many items may not get settle during this meeting, but it will put the members in a lead on where they would like to go.
At the top of the list of items will be conference membership and discussions on whether to add another school to the conference after Western Kentucky decided to leave for CUSA so the league can get to 12 football-playing teams and create two divisions and a football championship game beginning in 2014 or 2015.
Conference Commissioner Karl Benson has made it known to the media that ideally we'd like to get back to the 12 but it's not critical that we do so. We want to make sure that if we add a school that it is the right school and has the right characteristics and is the right match for the Sun Belt. Who could that possibly be? There are rumors that several schools could be considered in James Madison, Liberty, MO State, Youngstown State, Lamar, Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State. Many have placed JMU and Liberty at the top of the list, but I am not so sure about that, because the league has sent out several requests for possible membership into the league to several schools and has since been rejected. This is an interesting discussion among league members and the Commissioner, we should just continue to wait and see what happens over the next couple of days.Other items up for discussion are the number of conference games to be played in football and basketball, Revenue opportunities and TV contracts will also be discussed, as will a variety of other items. With all of these items up for discussion during this meeting, there is no doubt that the Sun Belt is looking to move forward and become a better competitive conference.
In football the conference will discuss and determine whether they will play eight or nine conference games beginning in 2014 and in basketball they will discuss whether they will play 16, 18 or 20 games.
The conference has important items on their agenda, items that needs to be addressed and acted upon. Two of the most important are the conference adding another member, revenue and TV contracts. Surely the conference and its member needs more revenue and deserve more revenue to competitive.
The conference will hold its media day on Wednesday at the conclusion of its Annual Spring Meeting in Destin, FL. I will continue to bring you update information as it becomes available. STAY TUNED!