No Sun Belt Expansion Just Yet
Last week during the Sun Belt Conference tournament, conference commissioner Karl Benson and the SBC schools met while they were all in New Orleans and the conversation of expansion was not something they voted on in their meetings.
With Western Kentucky leaving for Conference USA, they have been discussing the possibility of adding a 12th school to the conference. Early last year they opted against immediately adding a 12th football playing school and if they intend to add a FCS school for the 2015 season, they would need to do so by June 1.
Benson is not sure when or if a vote will take place when the same administrators from the represtative schools gather together again in mid-May for the annual spring meetings.
WKU leaves the Sun Belt to join other former members Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Florida International and Florida Atlantic in Conference USA.
The reason for a 12th football team would be to achieve geographic balance with the creation of two divisions would give the conference the opportunity for a conference football championship game which would give the league more visibility and more revenue.
At least four current FCS programs are interested and one that continues to be mentioned each time the conversation starts is Liberty University in Virginia. They have either won outright or shared the Big South Conference championship from 2007 through 2013.
Benson said that, “We’re going through the process of evaluating and doing our due diligence,” when he spoke about adding a 12th school. But he did not indicate if that due diligence included Liberty or any school in particular.
If one is to get an invite they would need to get 75% of the Sun Belt member schools to vote for their admission.