MTSU is the latest school to play musical chairs with its athletic league. Today, the university announced it’s leaving the Sun Belt Conference. By 2014, it will be a member of Conference USA. Athletic Director Chris Massaro likened the switch to the building boom happening on campus.
“As I look to my right, I see a brand new $30 million College of Education building. We’re having this press conference in a brand new, $65 million student union. Really, what we’re doing is mirroring the growth of the entire institution.”
Massaro says joining Conference USA gives MTSU teams the chance to win more fans and recruit more student athletes. University officials also hope the excitement will help out their $80 million capital campaign.
Middle Tennessee will have a lot of company in switching to Conference USA. Seven schools, including UNC Charlotte and Florida International, are joining in the next year. As MTSU enters, another Tennessee school is on its way out. The University of Memphis has announced it’s moving to the Big East.