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UTA packing bags for Sun Belt


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UT Arlington will accept an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference as soon this week, pending approval of the move by the UT Board of Regents, which will take up the motion in a meeting Thursday in Austin.

The board is expected to grant university officials the authorization to accept the agreement and finalize terms for membership, according to a memorandum outlining the meeting.

UTA would begin play in the 12-team Sun Belt in the fall of 2013. Starting in July it will join the Western Athletic Conference for a single year after competing as a member of the Southland Conference since 1964

The school will not be assessed an exit fee by the WAC. UTA will be required to pay a $300,000 entry fee to the Sun Belt, according to the memorandum, a fee that "will be covered through a combination of athletic department funds and conference revenues payable to UT Arlington pursuant to the New Member Agreement with the SBC."

University officials, in making a case for membership, also said that revenues generated through television and the NCAA will probably be comparable or greater in the Sun Belt than in the WAC.

"The SBC represents a more stable, equally competitive conference composed of similar institutions with comparable academic quality to UT Arlington," the memo stated.

read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/05/21/3976625/uta-packing-bags-for-sun-belt.html

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Are they going to be required to start a football program ?

Unlikely that they will be required right away. They sponsor enough sports for the Belt and balance UALR as a non-football school. Despite what a lot of WACy fans thought, everything Ive read and hear from UTA donor alumni is they are not going to have football until they have finished building a strong basketball program. That was the plan within the WAC and there is less reason to rush football in the Belt.

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Weren't they serious about starting one up a few years ago? I thought they had raised enough initial money to get the ball rolling and start a program at maybe the FCS level and ultimately build a small stadium.

I think there was some talk...but no significant amount of money, if I recall. That stadium they have is poorly designed and now is ready for the junk pile...also has a track around it. Would like to see it, but I don't think it will happen in the next 10 yrs, if ever.
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There was a football study done about 5? years ago. If I recall...basically said that Maverick Stadium was still relatively fine for football with upgrades needed though...seats 12000 and was designed for possible expansion to 20000-25000 I think (the seats on either side only go from the 40 to the 40 basically if I recall...it's like 50 rows tall on the west side, about 20 or so on the east, could expand the seats toward the endzone on each side of the field) and the stadium itself at the events I've attended there the last few years seems to be in really good shape. It's been re-turfed several times and over the years the school district played football/soccer there, and UTA hosts a track meet or two each year too. But the study said some upgrades would indeed need to be done, like a new fieldhouse with new coaching offices, locker rooms, weight rooms, medical/training facilities, etc. and I'm sure the pressbox would be either expanded or upgraded with some luxury suites, etc. Not sure about Title IX considerations, but maybe would have to add another sport or two? Can't imagine playing at Cowboys Stadium.

I've also read the now that we have College Park Center for indoor sports, now upgrading the baseball/softball complex is a big short-term priority in the next couple of years (the baseball locker rooms and offices are in the football stadium currently across the street). Maybe a slightly bigger baseball stadium with a fieldhouse might be on the horizon? Looking forward to the Sun Belt...will be nice to see how our hoops team can do against the better teams in the Sun Belt on a nightly basis (rather than the 3-6 times a season we get to play teams better than current conference)

Edited by utamav91
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