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WKU to announce 2014 move to Conference USA at noon today

WKU will announce a membership agreement with Conference USA for its athletic programs beginning on July 1, 2014, in a press conference at noon (CT) today (April 1) in the Jack and Jackie Harbaugh Stadium Club at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

Conference USA is an established, nationally prominent athletic conference that sponsors intercollegiate competition in 20 sports. Conference USA will have 16 member institutions in 2013-14, including 14 that compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

The press conference is open to the media and the public. Media members should park in Parking Structure 2 between E.A. Diddle Arena and Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. An attendant will be on duty at the structure to open the gate for media members covering the press conference.

The press conference will be streamed live on WKUSports.com.

The upcoming 2013-14 academic year will be WKU’s last as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, which it joined prior to the 1982-83 academic year. Currently in its 31st year as a member of the conference, WKU has won the Vic Bubas Cup five times, which is given annually to the member institution gaining the most cumulative points awarded for athletic success in the league’s 19 sponsored sports.

Since 2000, WKU has won 86 Sun Belt Conference championships, more than 30 more than the next closest conference school. Also since the year 2000, WKU has committed more than $100 million towards new construction or renovation of athletic facilities, and 85 percent of Hilltopper and Lady Topper student-athletes who have fulfilled their eligibility have graduated.

Conference USA membership in 2013-14 will include Charlotte, East Carolina, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UTEP and UTSA, with Charlotte and Old Dominion not competing in football.

In addition to reuniting with current Sun Belt Conference members FIU, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee and North Texas, beginning in 2014-15 WKU will once again be in a conference with former Sun Belt Conference foes Charlotte, Louisiana Tech, Old Dominion and UAB. Furthermore, WKU and Marshall were founding members of the Ohio Valley Conference in 1948.

Sun Belt Conference membership in 2013-14 will include UALR, Arkansas State, Georgia State, Louisiana-Lafayette, ULM, South Alabama, Texas-Arlington, Texas State, Troy and WKU, with UALR and Texas-Arlington not competing in football.

More: Look for additional information this afternoon on WKUSports.com

Contact: Michael Schroeder, (270) 745-5045.

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