Tulsa Prepares for C-USA Entry

The University of Tulsa will officially join Conference USA effective July 1 after nearly a decade in the Western Athletic Conference.

Conference USA was formed in 1994, ironically about the time TU decided to go west instead of staying with what was the bowl coalition of Memphis, Cincinnati, Louisville, East Carolina and Southern Mississippi, who became the nucleus of the new league.

On July 1, Cincinnati and Louisville will leave C-USA to join the Big East Conference.

Marshall, Rice, SMU, Tulsa, Central Florida and UTEP will join East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Southern Miss, Tulane and UAB in a 12-team C-USA with competition beginning in 2005-06. Also leaving C-USA to join the Big East are DePaul, Marquette and South Florida. TCU goes to the Mountain West and Charlotte and Saint Louis will join the Atlantic 10.

The membership changes have given C-USA the opportunity to play a pivotal role in the changing face of conference affiliations and will reinforce the league’s position in collegiate athletics for years to come.

“We are excited about adding new members and making structural improvements to Conference USA,” C-CUSA Commissioner Britton Banowsky says. “This is an opportunity for us to tighten our geography, group similar institutions together, create a divisional model, and stage a football championship game. It will be very exciting to watch this league grow and develop.”

The conference headquarters moved from Chicago to the Las Colinas area in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in June 2004.
C-USA will be Tulsa’s fifth conference since 1914, when it was a member of the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference until 1928. Tulsa went national in 1935 when it joined the Missouri Valley Conference, where the school stayed until 1985. TU was in the WAC from 1996 to 2005.

Updated 06-30-2005

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