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  1. Welcome to "Second Guess" Tuesday. It's just like two-for-Tuesday pasta specials, but the opinions are meatier. n There probably couldn't have been a worse time for Britton Banowsky to step down as Conference USA's commissioner. This is a crucial, cross-road year for the league. C-USA's television contract expires after this year and a new pact has to be negotiated. Banowsky's presence and acumen would be essential in those negotiations. But, now, it appears highly doubtful that Banowsky, who led Conference USA for nearly 13 years, will be around for those talks. Sure, Banowsky has said he will stay with C-USA until the league names his successor, but it's unlikely his tenure will last long enough to negotiate a new television contract. And in this day and age of television driving collegiate sports well, these contracts have become the life-blood for leagues. So, what's the outlook for C-USA's future television contract? Not too good. Just look at the league's announced television schedule for the 2015 season. The good news is more than 40 games will be televised by FS1 (Fox Sports 1), FSN (Fox Sports Network), FCS (Fox College Sports), CBS Sports Network and ESPN. The sobering news is ASN (American Sports Network) is televising 30 games. No offense to the fledgling network that was launched Aug. 30, 2014, but ASN is at the bottom of the food chain for sports networks. The fact Conference USA has 30 games on ASN speaks volumes. read more: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/sports/x45924054/Not-a-good-time-for-Banowsky-to-bolt
  2. Britton Banowsky’s impact on Conference USA has been well documented during the past 13 years. From bowl tie-ins, cost of attendance and conference realignment, including helping land Louisiana Tech in C-USA in 2013, Banowsky kept the conference afloat during chaotic times across the country. Conference USA presidents will have to find another leader this fall after Banowsky announced Thursday he is stepping down to focus on his charitable background and serve as the executive director of the College Football Playoff Foundation. A decision won’t likely happen until the fall when C-USA Board of Directors meet, but C-USA presidents and athletic directors, like Louisiana Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland, have started to chime in on the future of the league. “You gotta have someone that understands the national landscape and connected nationally at the conference level and certainly at the NCAA level,” McClelland told The News-Star on Thursday night. read more: http://www.thenewsstar.com/story/sports/college/louisiana-tech/2015/07/17/mcclelland-explains-qualities-needed-new-usa-commissioner/30299199/
  3. To hear league commissioner Britton Banowsky tell it, Conference USA finally has reached stability for the first time in several years. The past couple seasons have seen the exits of several longtime conference members. Gone are Memphis, SMU and Central Florida. Joining the exodus are Houston, Tulane, Tulsa and East Carolina. In their stead, last year Conference USA added Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Texas-San Antonio, Florida International, Florida Atlantic and Louisiana Tech to the football mix. This season, the league welcomes two more additions to the fold — Old Dominion and Western Kentucky. Charlotte, although technically a member of Conference USA, won't officially join the league's football lineup until 2015. By and large, members — both old and new — believe Conference USA is set up for long-term stability and success. Read more: http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/story/sports/special-edition/2014/08/21/conference-usa-taking-shape/14374959/
  4. It’s taken all the negotiating skills of Henry Kissinger for Conference USA to survive the chaotic realignment process that recently caused a seismic upheaval in college athletics. But who would have thought that nearly three years after more powerful conferences began feasting upon those with fewer resources that C-USA would improve its football TV profile and stabilize its postseason bowl contracts? That’s exactly what C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky has managed to do for his oft-maligned, far-flung league. For that, Banowsky probably hasn’t received enough recognition. Banowsky led an aggressive expansion process that added nine new members, including Old Dominion. Even shorn of some of its best football programs, Banowsky negotiated a TV deal this summer that nearly doubled the number of conferences games on the tube. And he managed to sign 10-year agreements with ten football bowl games that guarantees C-USA at least five postseason bids per season. Eleven of ODU’s 12 games this season will be on television, and when the Monarchs are ready for prime time, there will be bowl game opportunities. ODU president John Broderick, who had the final call when the school decided in 2012 to leave the Colonial Athletic Association for C-USA, said Banowsky had much to do with the decision. “When we were in the process of discussing our future, talking with people from around the country, his name kept coming up,” Broderick said. “We heard from a lot of people that he was really a quality commissioner. Read more: http://hamptonroads.com/2014/07/cusa-has-benefitted-banowskys-leadership
  5. In the new system, a mid-major team simply needs to be ranked higher than any team in the other mid-major conferences. "It's more open now," Banowsky said. "In the BCS, we could get a team in, but not only would they have to be our champion and be better than all the other champions, but it would have to be ranked in a certain place in the top-12 or top-16 and ranked above the other champions. With this, the best of our (mid-major) champions is in automatic. We need to find out a way to get a team to run the table, have a great season and be better than teams in our other peer conferences." As for a Cinderella bid in the College Football Playoff, Hancock said the door is still open if a mid-major team has a very strong resume. But that would likely mean a combination of an undefeated record and a challenging schedule. "Absolutely, it's open because there is no automatic qualification (in the College Football Playoff)," Hancock said. "It's wide open. Their opportunity is significant." Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2014/07/24/undefeated-c-usa-team-maybe-not-enough-for-playoff-spot/13099055/
  6. IRVING, Texas -- Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky knows at least one thing won't change with autonomy for the five power conferences to make their own bylaws. "There's been a differentiator whether you call them BCS, non-BCS," Banowsky said Wednesday. "I'm not naive to think that there won't be some continued differentiation." Asked then what he'd like C-USA and similar NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision leagues to be called moving forward, Banowsky said, "Call us the second five, and note there's 32 (conferences)." Regardless of whatever labels and differences there are, Banowsky expects that "second five" leagues to be able to co-exist in major football like they always have with the big-money conferences -- the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten. "Our five conferences and their five conferences have a lot of history together, and we've always found a way to get in a room and to be good listeners and work it out," Banowsky said Wednesday during C-USA football media day. "I also think having 60 schools together is just not enough for them to be able to have a base from which to operate. You need a bigger base." read more:http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/11255364/c-usa-britton-banowsky-says-second-5-conferences-relevant
  7. Conference realignment is over for now, but college athletics face major changes in the next few years, Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said. Old Dominion was among the last schools to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision from the Football Championship Subdivision when it joined C-USA two years ago. Speaking at media day this week, Banowsky said his conference is set with 14 members and he doesn't foresee expansion for years. That's bad news for FCS schools considering a move, such as Liberty and James Madison. College administrators have turned their attention to potentially seismic changes in the governance of sports. The NCAA likely will grant the five power conferences, including the ACC and SEC, more autonomy early next year. The amateur nature of college sports is being challenged in the courts and the disparity of revenues between the power conferences and mid-major leagues, such as Conference USA, continues to grow. "I believe we're transitioning from a time of conference realignment to system realignment," Banowsky said during a 40-minute discussion with reporters. Excerpts of that conversation: Q: In the last two years, Conference USA has lost seven schools and added nine. Is conference realignment over? A: "I believe it is for now. The realignment seas are pretty calm. Not only was it very taxing, people learned better ways to create legal structures that pulled associations together, whether it was a formal assignment of TV rights like the Big 12 did or what the ACC did" in requiring a $50 million exit fee. "The idea that being a member of an athletic conference is like you're a member of a country club that you can basically leave, that probably wasn't the best model for college athletics." Read more: http://hamptonroads.com/2014/07/cusa-chief-athletics-are-facing-big-changes
  8. RVING, Texas (AP) — Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky knows at least one thing won't change with autonomy for the five power conferences to make their own bylaws. "There's been a differentiator whether you call them BCS, non-BCS," Banowsky said Wednesday. "I'm not naive to think that there won't be some continued differentiation." Asked then what he'd like C-USA and similar NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision leagues to be called moving forward, Banowsky said, "Call us the second five, and note there's 32 (conferences)." Regardless of whatever labels and differences there are, Banowsky expects that "second five" leagues to be able to co-exist in major football like they always have with the big-money conferences — the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten. "Our five conferences and their five conferences have a lot of history together, and we've always found a way to get in a room and to be good listeners and work it out," Banowsky said Wednesday during C-USA football media day. "I also think having 60 schools together is just not enough for them to be able to have a base from which to operate. You need a bigger base." Read more: http://www.chron.com/sports/article/C-USA-commish-sees-bright-future-in-changing-times-5641833.php
  9. Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky, who was in Bowling Green last Tuesday to welcome Western Kentucky to the league, spoke recently with The Courier-Journal’s Michael Grant. What kind impact do you expect WKU to make in 2014-15? “I think about it in the long haul. I normally don’t think about it in a one-year increment. But I think they will make an immediate impact. They add a lot of history and tradition, particularly in men’s basketball. We expect them to give us a lift.” What does it mean for the league to have a Kentucky school back in C-USA? “We had a great experience with (the University of) Louisville and really enjoyed the leadership of (athletic director) Tom Jurich. To reassociate with the state and make new connections and create a platform from which Western Kentucky might be able to thrive and grow is a neat opportunity for us.” Read more: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/2014/07/04/qa-c-usa-commissioner-addition-western-kentucky/12235299/
  10. When I read this article it is very discouraging and leads me to believe there is likely rampant cheating going on right now. North Carolina, Miami, Penn State -- to me there is still less risk in cheating and until they fix this with some steep penalties it will continue... read more: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/24560341/all-quiet-on-the-violations-front-is-ncaa-enforcement-dead
  11. I think the concept of putting money aside that would be collected by the student athlete after they graduate and can be used for graduate school education etc is a pretty good one... Also it appears that the whistleblower Mary Wilingham at North Carolina is going to testify in front of Congress in regards to the NCarolina scandal and I expect her testimony to be pretty telling. It's an interesting controversy, on the one hand you have the greed of the power schools and their desire to separate legislatively. On the other hand, the LAST thing they want to do is move away from the student athlete model which this North Carolina mess indicates will happen when the need to win overrides academic integrity... READ MORE: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/24554058/how-does-college-sports-solve-the-growing-players-movement
  12. During his visit to Huntington for the UAB game, Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky discussed, among other things, his decision not to pursue additional C-USA bowl affiliations with two more football programs joining C-USA in 2015. “What I don’t want to do is get into a position where we have more bowls than we do teams and I have to pick up the phone and call a bowl and say, ‘I’m sorry I can’t bring you a team.’” From the looks of C-USA football this season, Banowsky was right to play the bowl scene close to the vest. The conference lacks depth, and the outlook at the bottom does not promise many bowl appearances in the near future. C-USA will not have any problems filling its current bowl obligations, with five teams having secured the sixth win needed for bowl eligibility. With East Carolina at 8-2, Marshall, North Texas and Rice at 7-3 and Middle Tennessee and Tulane at 6-4, C-USA will have a strong presence this postseason. These six teams are a combined 29-8 in C-USA play and account for 41 of the 61 total wins for C-USA teams this season. Read more: http://www.marshallparthenon.com/sports/top-heavy-c-usa-needs-more-depth-to-succeed-in-future-1.2847959#.UoxNheKZ-So
  13. New television negotiations are on the horizon, with the birth of Fox Sports 1 providing a boost this season. "I am delighted with the way things have turned out," Banowsky said Saturday during his appearance at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. "The group we have is a good group, as we thought it would be. We've got some great programs that are showing up-side potential. We've got schools in Western Kentucky and Middle [Tennessee] that are a nice bridge to Marshall." With the bowl situation realigning just as radically for 2014 and beyond, C-USA officials saw the need to be proactive. Joining the other four leagues outside the "Power 5," three bowls are being launched. "Ultimately, we as a conference had to decide whether we were going to put ourselves in a place, year in and year out, where we would hope there would be openings and then try to find bowls for our surplus teams, or whether we just wanted to go out and create our own destiny," Banowsky said. "About a year ago we started thinking, 'Let's do Boca Raton,' and that makes some sense. In the spring, we started thinking about the Bahamas, which is a fantastic opportunity. "And then we brought the other partner conferences into the conversation and they said, 'Wow, those are good setups you have.' And then Miami [Miami Beach Bowl at Marlins Park] came online, the American Conference brought Miami to us." Banowsky doesn't expect to see the league putting its champion in one designated bowl, such has been the case with the Liberty Bowl in 16 of 17 years. This is the league's last go-around with the Liberty, assuming there is not an "out" similar to that exercised in 2011. Banowsky didn't give an ironclad guarantee this fall's champ will end up in Memphis. Read more: http://www.wvgazette.com/Sports/201311090081?page=1
  14. Gotta give props to Commissioner Banowsky who secured 6 bowls for our conference today! Great job BB! AAC folks not too happy about it: 1. Why is CUSA getting it done before AAC? Legitimate question. 2. CUSA scored some bowl spots that would have fit nicely in an AAC bowl lineup--the Shreveport backup spot, the New Orleans Bowl. 3. The Montgomery Bowl, the Boca Bowl and the Bahamas Bowl make it less likely that the Marlins Park Aresco Bowl happens. 4. And it happens on the same day that the AAC gets games sublicensed from the ESPN Family to CBS-SN, flushing the "all our games are going to be on basic (74M+) cable" down the toilet. Read more: http://csnbbs.com/showthread.php?tid=644964
  15. Conference USA endured more than its fair share of changes to arrive at the lineup commissioner Britton Banowsky spent a lot of time talking about during the league’s media day last week. SMU and Houston led a league exodus before North Texas joined along with former Sun Belt Conference members Middle Tennessee, Florida International and Florida Atlantic, not to mention Texas-San Antonio. Tulsa and Tulane will depart after one more year, leaving a void that Western Kentucky — another Sun Belt school — will help fill. Banowsky helped guide C-USA through those changes and said he couldn’t be happier with the result or more confident in the stability of the league going forward. UNT officials have echoed that sentiment, despite recent talk of some elite college football programs moving into a separate division. “I am delighted,” Banowsky said. “I think we are very well positioned. We have a lot of new energy and a new excitement. You want to avoid becoming stale. We are staying fresh.” A host of schools benefited from the latest round of conference realignment. There is little doubt that UNT was among them after landing in a league with three other Texas schools — Rice, UTEP and UTSA. UNT spent 12 years as the only Texas school in the Sun Belt. “It’s a phenomenal opportunity,” UNT football coach Dan McCarney said. “This league has great respect from around the country because of what teams in the league have done in recent years. There have been some real tremendous seasons, in conference wins, out-of-conference wins, bowl wins. When you put it together with the leadership of Britton Banowsky, you can see why this league is respected around the country.” Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20130731-football-c-usa-confident-in-its-stability.ece
  16. 1. Will there be more C-USA expansion? Banowsky: “We are clearly in a period of analysis going forward, but we are not in a period of active expansion. We put opportunities in front of our group in June and said, ‘How do you feel? What do you want to do? Here is our lineup, and here are our assets.’ They said, ‘Let’s stop and evaluate.’ Fair enough. I’m totally comfortable with that.” 2. C-USA has six automatic bowl tie-ins for the 2013 season. How are bids earned and negotiated? Banowsky: “We do things a little bit differently, and it’s worked out really well. A champion is dedicated to the Liberty Bowl. But beyond that, we work with our partners to find the best overall teams in the right slots. We don’t give them all selection order like some other conferences do. They let us know what their preferences are. We look at it and ask our schools what they are thinking, and we try to do what’s right to maximize it. We don’t need five bowl teams flying cross-country when four of them could be driving.” 3. What kind of discussion has there been of what the divisions will look like in 2014? Banowsky: “We have not had those (discussions). I know people have speculated about it. But we have not really dived into it.” 4. On the field football-wise, do you think the new schools (from the Sun Belt and WAC) can compete with the pre-existing C-USA schools? Banowsky: “Well, we will find out. I don’t know for sure how it will go because there’s not a lot of history of competition between the programs in many cases. So we will learn a lot. My sense is that we will have a lot of competitiveness in both divisions, and we will have some great games. I’m looking forward to the beginnings of new rivalries. Of course, there will be an end to some other rivalries.” Read more:http://www.dnj.com/article/20130731/BLUERAIDERS01/307310016/10-Questions-Britton-Banowsky-C-USA-commish-talks-bowls-Nashville
  17. DALLAS — Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky said when another wave of conference football realignment began building two years ago or so, he was concerned about a potential tsunami-like impact on the league. And while the roiling waters reshaped C-USA’s landscape, Banowsky said the conference not only has survived but continues to evolve much as it has since its birth in 1995. “I could not have imagined it turning out any better,” Banowsky said Wednesday during an impromptu roundtable at the Conference USA Football Media Day at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Marriott. Banowsky said that C-USA had made a contingency plan should other conferences begin another round of adding or losing schools, starting a cascade of falling dominoes that affected first one league’s membership, then the next and then the next. “We said let’s execute this plan, and I think it came together splendidly,” Banowsky said. “It really did come together very, very well, and we have platforms now to power up from that we’ve never had. We’re in markets that we’ve not been in before. There’s more connective tissue.” read more: http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20130725/SOUTHERNMISS/307250028/COLUMN-Banowsky-reveling-evolving-league
  18. Dan McCarney - "This league is loaded with real talented head coaches. Real successful guys, you look at the resumes and their pedigree and they're really a great lineup of coaches...We're [uNT] just lucky to be there because we know there's lot of teams that would rather be in our shoes... We just hope we can be a factor in the race. We're in the process of trying to restore some dignity, some respect to North Texas football that's been missing for a long time. Bill Blankenship on who Tulsa is looking for in a player - "We're looking for the same player that the service academies are looking for but we don't require the same 4 year commitment after they graduate. They're not all Eagle scouts but we think leadership is important. And then they have to have the athletic ability to be able to play at a high level. We have 23 players out of the last 3 recruiting classes who turned down scholarships from the Big 12, Big 10 SEC etc. We're at a place we've identified that if you and your family value a great education in a smaller size student body where everyone can put a face to a name we can offer you that." C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky on the sabre rattling from the BCS institutions for NCAA changes: "I think the issue is how do you deal with the issues of the day - together. There's issues around how you deal with the student athletes financial package, there's issues with the safety of the game and players health which should be of the highest priority, we have financial sustainability issues in the long run and in the short we have issues of too much commercialization. It seems to me that we addressed conference realignment and now the [NCAA] system needs realignment now. read more:
  19. July 23, 2013 The Big Ten Conference extends its relationship with the Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank and enters into an agreement with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to secure a commitment to have a conference school play in the postseason games, on a rotating basis, during a seven-year period following the 2013-2019 seasons. Starting in 2013, the Big Ten will place seven teams over a seven-year period in the Metroplex. The 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank will host the Big Ten on an ESPNU televised game. Their opponent will be a school from Conference USA and the game will kickoff at 11 a.m. (CT) on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, Texas. "The Big Ten has played bowl games in the state of Texas annually since 1995 and we look forward to continuing that tradition by participating in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank," Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany said. "The opportunity to play in a historic venue like Cotton Bowl Stadium first drew us to the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and the hospitality of the people of Dallas and the charitable generosity of the bowl committee make this an ideal partnership. In addition, the agreement with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will allow the Big Ten to maintain an annual presence in the state of Texas, which is home to a large alumni base from conference schools. These two postseason games in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area are welcome additions to our national bowl lineup." "We are extremely pleased to extend our relationship with the Big Ten for the Heart of Dallas Bowl game," said Kern Egan, Heart of Dallas board member. "The ongoing support of one of college football's premier conferences will continue to help the Heart of Dallas raise money for charities to make our city a better place." Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured the "armed forces" theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance; and the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America. "This is another major milestone for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl," said Brant Ringler, BHAFB executive director. "We look forward to working with the Big Ten Conference officials and Heart of Dallas Bowl representatives during this process to produce exciting postseason football games in North Texas." With Rice defeating Air Force 33-14, the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl drew an attendance of 40,754 and the largest TV audience in the game's history with an average of 2,584,000 households. The ESPN telecast had a 2.6 average household coverage rating - marking the bowl's second-highest rating in the event history. After two seasons as the TicketCity Bowl, the name of the postseason game at the Cotton Bowl was changed to the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The 2013 game featured Oklahoma State defeating Purdue before a crowd of 48,313. The bowl game raised $100,000 for the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance. ESPN Regional Television ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, owns and operates collegiate sporting events worldwide, including two Labor Day Kickoff college football games; seven college bowl games and eight college basketball events. These account for approximately 200 hours of programming, reach almost 64 million viewers and attract nearly half a million attendees each year. The owned and operated events build relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as provide unique experiences for teams and fans. In addition to event ownership, ERT manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program. Collegiate Football BBVA Compass Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Beef `O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Las Vegas Bowl; MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl (Honolulu) and The Home Depot College Football Awards Collegiate Basketball Armed Forces Classic (TBD); Charleston Classic (S.C.); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men's & Women's Basketball Classics presented by Corona Extra (Madison Square Garden & Durham, N.C.); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan, PR); State Farm Champions Classic (United Center, Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.) http://www.bigten.org/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/072313aaa.html
  20. The MWC will have their collective ++++ in their hand come bowl season. IMO, if the MWC and CUSA are seamingly going to be paired up so often, perhaps it's a sign that "the alliance" isn't dead after all. I have always felt that UTEP and UTSA would eventually align with the Western side of The Alliance. And Banowsky has made no secret that he's open to taking two more teams. The Basketball in The Alliance may be worth it by itself. UNLV, UNM, SDSU, USU, UAB, WKU, ODU, UNCC, USM, UTEP... In the long run, Banowsky and Thompson seem to be keeping their synergy in play. Read more: http://www.mwcboard.com/index.php?s=139a80839a80a24485c625a3357bc614&showtopic=48456
  21. From its founding in 1995, Conference USA has been a home for the upwardly mobile. Created by a merger of the Metro Conference and Great Midwest, it immediately became one of the nation's best college basketball leagues with national powers Louisville, DePaul, Marquette, Cincinnati and Memphis as charter members. Eventually, Houston, East Carolina, SMU and Texas Christian would join, making the conference something of a national player in not only basketball, but football. Monday morning, Old Dominion officially departs the Colonial Athletic Association to became a member of Conference USA, a league that has seen radical change in its 18 years. Many members have moved on to bigger and better things. Louisville landed in the Big East and is headed to the ACC in 2014. Texas Christian moved to the Big 12. Houston, Cincinnati and Memphis are all in the newly formed American Athletic Conference, a spinoff of the Big East. Britt Banowsky, who has been the C-USA commissioner since 2002, said change is a good thing. "I embrace change because I think it's the opportunity to reinvent and keep us fresh," he said. He's certainly seen plenty of it. Since 2005, 15 members have either left the league or announced they will leave in the near future. The Big East/AAC has absorbed nine schools since then. Three more depart in 2014. Seven others join C-USA today: Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee and North Texas from the Sun Belt; Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio (Western Athletic Conference) and UNC Charlotte (Atlantic 10). Western Kentucky also leaves the Sun Belt for C-USA in 2014. By 2014, only five schools will remain from the 14 that were members in 2012 - Southern Miss, Rice, Texas-El Paso, Alabama-Birmingham and Marshall. The league retains TV contracts with Fox College Sports, Fox Sports 1 and the CBS Sports Network, and, according to tax returns available online, a healthy bottom line. Conference USA's latest returns, filed in 2011, show it had $58 million in revenue and $48 million in expenses. Its $32 million in assets include $15 million in cash. Read more: http://hamptonroads.com/2013/06/cusa-no-stranger-conference-realignment
  22. IRVING The Heart of Dallas Bowl will continue a tie-in with the Big 12 as part of the conferences bowl lineup for 2014-19. We want to be good corporate citizens and community citizens, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Friday on the final day of the leagues spring meetings. Im serving on the board and trying to help [Conference USA commissioner] Britton Banowsky to put something together to benefit the area. Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda confirmed that the Big 12s six-year bowl lineup will include the Allstate Sugar (New Orleans), Valero Alamo (San Antonio), Russell Athletic (Orlando, Fla.), AutoZone Liberty (Memphis, Tenn.), Buffalo Wild Wings (Tempe, Ariz.) and Meineke Car Care of Texas (Houston), as expected. Big 12 will be part of several conferences providing teams to the Heart of Dallas Bowl at Cotton Bowl Stadium on a rotating basis. Read more: http://collegesportsblog.dallasnews.com/2013/05/big-12-will-provide-teams-to-heart-of-dallas-bowl-on-rotating-basis-from-2014-19-conferences-other-bowl-lineup-confirmed.html/
  23. RUSTON There are many challenges facing college athletic conferences, but none of them are keeping Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky awake at night. On a recent visit to Ruston to spend time with outgoing Louisiana Tech president Dan Reneau, Banowsky said pizza during the day is the only thing interrupting his sleep. I dont worry too much about the work. Athletics is difficult. Its challenging, but its athletics, Banowsky said in a news conference. Its not like were saving lives here, so we have to keep it in some degree of perspective. If we were trying to keep world peace, I might lose sleep. But at the end of the day, well play the game, and therell be a winner and a loser. Well go home, and then well play another game. Thats the way its always been. The fun aside, the commish said fiscal responsibility is one of the greatest challenges universities face currently and in the immediate future. Travel expenses continue to escalate, game guarantees are rising, and coaches salaries have bucked the economic downturn of the past few years. If I were to pick one of the big ones, that would be it. Expenses are growing at such a rate across all of athletics. Its staggering, Banowsky said. We went through what some people suggest is the worst economic period since the great depression in the last six years, and during that period, coaches salaries went up 25 percent a year. How does that happen? We have some fundamental things to deal with. Read more: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20130512/SPORTS0203/305120029/C-USA-commissioner-Britton-Banowsky-Challenges-ahead?nclick_check=1
  24. RUSTON — Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said Thursday he likes a 16-member football model, but he said he doesn’t know if the league will expand soon. Banowksy visited the Louisiana Tech campus to chat with outgoing president Dan Reneau, a long-time friend, and to meet other officials as Tech prepares for its official move to C-USA this summer. “People that know me know that I am comfortable with large models of conferences,” Banowsky said. “There are efficiencies that grow from a two-division model of eight in each division that’s beneficial. “I also know that we want to manage the growth in a way that we continue to create stability as opposed to volatility. I’m not sure yet whether we will move to a platform of 16 members, but I know I’ve been asked to model 16, so that’s what I plan on doing.” Louisiana Tech is in a large group of schools joining C-USA, including fellow Western Athletic Conference member Texas-San Antonio, Sun Belt Conference schools Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic, Florida International and North Texas, Atlantic 10 member North Carolina-Charlotte and Colonial Athletic Association member Old Dominion. Western Kentucky will join in 2014 and ODU and UNCC will play C-USA football in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Banowsky didn’t mention specific schools in which C-USA might pursue to get to 16, but Sun Belt members Arkansas State and ULL could be attractive. ULL athletics director Scott Farmer told The Daily Advertiser in April that the Ragin’ Cajuns would be interested in the move. Conference USA’s membership grab is in response to four schools leaving for the American Athletic Conference this year (Memphis, Houston, Central Florida and Southern Methodist) and three next year (Tulane, Tulsa and East Carolina). Banowsky said he believes C-USA still has a national brand, and that by adding the San Antonio market and keeping the Dallas market, the conference is moving in a positive direction. He added that the C-USA trend has been to add large universities in populated markets, but Tech was the exception. Read more: http://www.thenewsstar.com/article/20130510/SPORTS/305100023/CUSA-commish-likes-16-team-league-won-t-guarantee-it
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