On The Record, Vol. 4, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, June 15, 2012 Page: 29 of 32
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CM THE RECORD
FROM SUN BELT TO C-USA
T ATHLETICS MOVING CONFERENCES
BY RYNE GANNOE & KYLE HARTY
The Mean Green nation is moving.
I NT \ihlclic.s will join Confer-
ence: USA officially on July I.
2013, leaving behind the Sun Belt Con-
ference for good.
UNT has been a member of the Sun
Belt, which includes no other Texas uni-
versities, since 2001. UNT now has the
opportunity to build new, local rivalries,
•Ti ns is validation that the progress
we have made in our athletic programs
in conjunction with our university's aca-
demic reputation has made Us a suitable
for high standards of Conference USA,"
Athletic Director Bick Villarreal said in
a press release. "Conference USA pro-
vides a great partnership with several
schools in our geographic proximity and
will help all of us create outstanding re-
Also joining Conference USA are
Florida International, Louisiana Tech,
University of Texas. San \iiloniu. Uni-
versity of North Carolina Charlotte and,
most recently, Qld Dominion.
The influx of new members is the re-
sult of four G-UBA schools — University
of 1 loustoii. Southern Methodist, Uni-
versity of Central. Florida and University
of Memphis - leaving for the Big East.
Because of the possibility of further
conference shake up, including tile po-
tential for additional teams, divisions
in the conference have yet to be estab-
During a press Conference announc-
ing the move, UNT President A Lane
Bawlins said it was a move forward for
Mean Green Athletics.
"I simply think this is the next stage
for the University of North Texas," Raw-
He said that it was a big plus for fans to
be able to travel with the team to closer
away games and would
help bring more visitors to North Texas.
North Texas and UlA \ will join Bice
and the University ofTexas-El Paso in C
USA, bringing the total of Texas athletics
programs in 11 if conference to four.
Louisiana Tech and Tulsa are also
within a five-hour drive of Denton.
Conference USA commissioner Brit-
ton BanOwsky outlined why UNT fits in
Conference: I S \.
"Our plan is one that focuses on large
tmiversities in growing markets and
North Texas fits the bill perfectly" Ban-
owski said atUNT'spress conference. "II
also focuses on universities and athletic
programs llial have athletic excellence
in their history, and have great coaches
and a lot of promise. The athletic-eom-
p.etitive piece is definitely the case at this
GRAPHIC BY ANDREW TELLEZ
THE FUTURE OF
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Bottoni, Paul. On The Record, Vol. 4, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, June 15, 2012, periodical, June 15, 2012; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth255944/m1/29/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .