Sun Belt 2022 Football Schedule Includes 3 Current C-USA Teams
Earlier this morning, the Sun Belt released their 2022 football schedule with one caveat. Three schools currently playing in Conference USA were included in the Sun Belt schedule for next season. Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss are currently battling C-USA in a legal dispute to leave the league this summer instead of June of 2023. Despite their desire to bolt for the Sun Belt, C-USA included all of three of them in their 2022 football schedule when it was released a fee weeks back.
As Chris Vannini from The Athletic reported, local courts are more likely to side with Marshall, ODU, and Southern Miss than C-USA, which means they will most likely play next season in the Sun Belt. Don't tell that to C-USA who requested an injunction to keep the schools in their league for the 2022-23 athletic season. They also demanded arbitration with all three schools, but each of them were able to get local courts to rule against it.
When the smoke finally clears, it seems like C-USA will get some extra money from them for their early departure to the Sun Belt. However, every remaining school in the league, including UTEP has games against Marshall, ODU, and Southern Miss on their current 2022 football schedule. The Miners are supposed to host the Golden Eagles on Saturday, October 15th and then play in Norfolk the next week. Instead of booking charter flights and hotel rooms now, they will have to wait and see what happens next from C-USA.
If I was advising C-USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod, I would tell her to let them go early and take the extra monetary incentive that they would offer the league for an early departure. Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss have zero interest in staying in C-USA next season. Instead of spending a fortune on legal costs, take the money and run. They are going to be in the Sun Belt soon enough, so why not make a few extra dollars and let them go now? The league is going to look so different in the summer of 2023, the last thing they need is another legal fight that they might not win.