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Conference USA eyes football title game in '05

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  • Conference USA eyes football title game in '05

    Aug. 20, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    Conference USA athletic directors have voted unanimously to recommend holding the league's inaugural football championship game in 2005.

    The recommendation made Thursday now goes before the league's board of directors.

    The game would feature champions from two divisions. East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, UAB and Central Florida will compete in the East Division and Houston, Rice, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, and UTEP will play in the West.

    The team with the highest conference winning percentage would host the championship game.

    "We also feel there are a number of advantages to the schools and the host community," Southern Miss athletic director Richard Giannini said. "This format is not only the best method to determine our champion, but will provide excellent media exposure for the schools and the community, including the economic impact a game like this creates."

    Conference USA would become one of five Division I-A conferences to hold a football championship game. The Big 12, Southeastern Conference and Mid-American Conference currently play football championship games, and the Atlantic Coast Conference will add a championship game in 2005.

    Next year, Conference USA will add six schools: Marshall, Rice, SMU, Tulsa, UCF and UTEP.

    Current members Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette and South Florida are moving to the Big East in 2005.



    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    Big East, ACC makeovers lead to turnover in C-USA, WAC and MAC
    by DJRamFan
    June 23, 2004
    AP

    BOSTON (AP) When the Atlantic Coast Conference raided the Big East to become a football powerhouse, it started a wave of change that has left the non-BCS leagues in a state of flux.

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    Like the Big East, Conference USA, the Western Athletic Conference, the Mid-American Conference and the Sun Belt Conference are preparing to play the upcoming season with several lame duck members.

    So how do you lead a league in limbo?

    "Get through this year and look to '05 when the new members join," WAC commissioner Karl Benson said Tuesday during a break in the Collegiate Commissioners Association meetings. "The disadvantage here is you lose a year of planning and there's confusion. In the past it hasn't been all that damaging. We've got four schools that are playing in their final year. It's awkward, but it's not unmanageable."

    Teams switching conferences is nothing new. Since 1990, the Pac-10 is the only Division I-A football conference that has not changed members.

    But never before have so many teams in so many leagues been shuffled in such a short time. Over the next two seasons, about 20 percent of the 117 Division I-A football schools will be changing leagues.

    The ACC knocked over the first domino when it lured Miami and Virginia Tech out of the Big East. Those schools join the ACC this season. Next season, Boston College follows.

    The Big East recouped by adding five schools from Conference USA, three that play football. Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida join Big East football in 2005. Marquette and DePaul are also shifting from C-USA to the Big East.

    C-USA will say goodbye to two more football schools after the 2004 season when Army goes back to being an independent and Texas Christian heads to the Mountain West Conference after just three football seasons in C-USA.

    The Horned Frogs garnered national attention for themselves and C-USA last year by going 11-2 and reaching as high as sixth in the Bowl Championship Series standings, the highest ranking ever for a team from a non-BCS league.

    TCU, Louisville and Cincinnati have football programs that have blossomed into consistent winners in recent years, and all three are expected to contend for the C-USA title in 2004.

    Next season they will be replaced by Marshall, Central Florida, UTEP, Rice, SMU and Tulsa.

    "It think it's a challenge for us because we're changing so many of our members that have strong identities," said C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky, whose conference is also losing non-football members Charlotte and St. Louis to the Atlantic 10.

    "The league I think has a reputation as being very strong in the sport of men's basketball, we have some very high profile coaches...
    -06-28-2004, 01:45 PM
  • DJRamFan
    FAMU stripped of 11 conference titles, let back in MEAC
    by DJRamFan
    July 22, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference followed through with its proposed punishment against Florida A&M for 196 NCAA rule violations, and stripped the Rattlers of 11 conference titles, including two in football.

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    But that football program -- no longer the 2000 and 2001 champions -- has been allowed back into the MEAC in 2005, the last chapter in FAMU's aborted jump to Division I-A last season. FAMU will compete as a I-AA independent this season.

    Florida A&M will also forfeit regular season conference titles in men's tennis (2000), men's indoor track (2002), women's indoor track (1998-2000), women's outdoor track (1998-2000) and volleyball (1999).

    In addition, FAMU must return the $175,000 it had received for winning four women's and three men's conference all-sports titles. The MEAC presents $25,000 checks for each all-sports championship.

    MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas informed the school of the penalties in a letter last month.

    Joseph Ramsey II, the special assistant for athletics to school president Fred Gainous, said Gainous will decide no later than Friday whether to appeal.

    "Based on what I'm hearing and what I've read, there are 196 infractions," said Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr. of Tallahassee, a member of the board of trustees. "What are you going to appeal? The great number of infractions tells me we don't need to spin this. We need to fix this."

    FAMU earlier had confessed to the violations committed between 1998 and 2003, most dealing with the academic eligibility of student-athletes.

    In the school's report, FAMU listed self-imposed sanctions that included three years' probation for the school; the loss of four partial and two full scholarships in football and one each in baseball, women's basketball and women's track in each of the next three academic years.

    FAMU also said it would cut four official visits in football in each of the next three years.

    The NCAA is conducting its own investigation, which could result in sanctions beyond those proposed by the school.



    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -07-25-2004, 03:57 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Hurricane postpones Illinois State-Florida Atlantic
    by DJRamFan
    Sept. 24, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    NORMAL, Ill. -- Hurricane Jeanne forced the postponement of Saturday's football game between Illinois State and Florida Atlantic.

    A makeup date was not announced Friday.

    The hurricane is expected to reach Florida's east coast by Sunday. Florida Atlantic is in Fort Lauderdale.

    "Florida Atlantic is in the process of closing its university today, while the governor has asked for evacuation in the Fort Lauderdale area," Illinois State senior athletic director Larry Lyons said. "With these prominent actions taking place, it didn't make a whole lot of sense for us to try to fly in there and play on Saturday."

    The next game for Illinois State is Oct. 2 against Indiana State.


    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -09-24-2004, 06:33 PM
  • DJRamFan
    MAC give contract extension to commissioner
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 3, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    CLEVELAND -- The Mid-American Conference extended the contract of commissioner Rick Chryst through the 2008-2009 school year.

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    Since Chryst was appointed commissioner in May 1999, MAC football teams have made 54 appearances on national television.

    Last season, two MAC teams won bowl games: Bowling Green defeated Northwestern in the Motor City Bowl, and Miami of Ohio beat Louisville in the GMAC Bowl.

    "Rick is one of the most able, knowledgeable, and respected Division I-A commissioners and he has led the MAC through an unprecedented period of growth as the league has enhanced its athletic competitiveness while maintaining the highest academic and sportsmanship standards," said Dr. John Peters of Northern Illinois, chair of the MAC Council of Presidents.

    Chryst joined the MAC after serving as assistant commissioner in the Atlantic Coast Conference (1992-99) and the Southwest Conference (1989-92).

    "I look forward to continuing to build on the successes of the last several years, in an environment that will remain challenging and changing," Chryst said.



    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -08-03-2004, 11:09 AM
  • DJRamFan
    UNLV's Dodd-Masters suspended for punching Wyoming player
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 11, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- UNLV cornerback Ruschard Dodd-Masters was suspended for one game by the Mountain West Conference for throwing a punch at a Wyoming player.

    MWC commissioner Craig Thompson called the hit a "potentially dangerous nonfootball act that clearly fell under the definition of 'physical abuse.'"

    Wyoming wide receiver Josh Barge was hit in the throat. He missed several plays but returned to the game.

    Dodd-Masters will miss Saturday's game when UNLV (2-7, 1-4) plays at Colorado State (3-6, 2-3).

    The hit came near the end of a play in the third quarter of Wyoming's 53-45 triple-overtime road victory last Saturday. UNLV was assessed a 15-yard penalty.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -11-11-2004, 11:09 AM
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