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WKU athletics ready to embrace move to Conference USA

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Western Kentucky University football coach Jeff Brohm is happily wearing a black Conference-USA shirt. The logo for the new home of WKU athletics is already on the Houchens Industries–L. T. Smith Stadium field and will be placed on the basketball court floor at Diddle Arena soon.

There will be a party in the (Conference) USA on July 1 — the day the Hilltoppers officially join the league. The university is hosting a celebration with its coaches and the public at 643 Sports Bar. All the paperwork has been signed. C-USA is a go.

Speculation about WKU making a move from the Sun Belt Conference to C-USA existed for years prior to the official press conference in April 2013. WKU is taking over the spot vacated by Tulsa, which is joining the Big East. Though WKU’s move might have seemed inevitable to some as the conference realignment changed the face of the college athletics, don’t tell that to WKU athletic director Todd Stewart.

Speaking recently to The Courier-Journal, Stewart said he didn’t assume anything.

“There were some nervous moments,” Stewart said. “There was so much movement. Then it started to settle down. It was like a game of musical chairs. You didn’t want to be the one left standing when the music stopped.”

Read more: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/kentuckiana/2014/06/23/wku-athletics-ready-embrace-move-conference-usa/11260299/

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I can understand why WKU stayed nervous. They were an extremely small market attempting to join a league that was replenished with large market teams. But, WKU was granted admission on the strength of their athletic teams; especially their basketball team.

My choice would have been Louisiana but I'm prejudiced because I grew up about 100 miles from Lafayette. WKU is a good replacement, however. They have better programs on the whole. They have a much larger budget than UL Lafayette which could have been a deciding factor.

I do believe that they will be competitive right off the bat and I welcome their presence.

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