Sun Belt Conference Snubs NMSU……………For Now
We all know people can be vindictive. When NMSU left the Sun Belt Conference for the seemingly greener pastures of the WAC in 2005, the Aggies were not looking through the rear-view mirror.
With the WAC on the verge of extinction, Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson made it clear yesterday that the conference does not want NMSU back.
Instead the Sun Belt will add UT-Arlington for the 2013 season. The Mavericks are slated to join the WAC for the 2012 season before bolting to the Sun Belt on July 1, 2013.
Former WAC commissioner Karl Benson told the Idaho Statesman:
“We are not pursuing additional members at this time.” “To squelch the speculation of a football championship game, it is not high on our radar screen and priority list … We wanted to be fair (to the schools that have contacted us). At this juncture, the Sun Belt shouldn’t be considered a landing spot whether it’s an FCS member or an existing FBS member.”
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun News spoke with NMSU director of athletics, Dr. McKinley Boston. Boston feels NMSU has three options:
- Receive an invitation from the Mountain West
- Become an independent in football
- Rebuild the WAC with FCS football programs wanting to go FBS
Boston is publicly confident that things will work out for NMSU, but the only certainty is that the WAC can not survive with five members. Karl Benson and the Sun Belt sent a clear message to NMSU and Idaho. The Aggies and Vandals can beg all they want, but the Sun Belt is committed to having its footprint from East Texas to Florida.