NORFOLK, VA (NWN) – On Wednesday, Old Dominion announced that it had accepted an invitation to join the Solar Belt Conference no later than July 1, 2023.
The addition of the monarchs came two days after the Belt of the Sun formally announced Southern Mississippi’s intention to join the conference.
ODU played seven seasons in Conference USA, which now has eight of the 14 participants who plan to leave the league in the next few years.
“Joining the Sun Belt Conference will be a game changer for Old Dominion University and our athletic program,” said School President Brian Hemphill. “We’re excited about the expanded possibilities and limitless possibilities now and in the future.”
Athletic Director Wood Selig thanked Conference USA for helping the Monarchs move from Football Championship to Football Bowl, but said: continuous growth and development of ODU sports programs in our quest for national recognition ”.
ODU will compete in the sun belt in all sports except rowing, lacrosse (American Athletic Conference) and field hockey (Big East).
There are currently 12 schools in the Sun Belt, 10 of which play major collegiate football. ODU will expand the conference to Virginia, and the league from New Orleans doesn’t seem to have finished adding members.
Sun Belt is reportedly working to add Marshall School, Conference USA, and FCS James Madison, based in Harrisonburg, Virginia, to Huntington, West Virginia.
Last week, the American Athletic Conference announced the addition of six C-USA schools on a due date.
C-US Commissioner Judy MacLeod said in a statement that the Dallas conference is working to rebuild its membership and may look to FCS schools or FBS independent organizations to replace outgoing members.
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