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Sun Belt Conference meeting to explore options
Which current NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) members would be considered for membership if the conference were to expand to 14, including 12 that play football, in 2013.
Athletic director Scott Farmer, university president Joseph Savoie, football coach Mark Hudspeth, basketball coach Bob Marlin and other UL representatives are in Destin, Fla., this week attending the Sun Belt Conference’s annual spring meeting.
Among topics of conference structure-related interest to believed to be on the agenda are:
» The anticipated addition of Texas-Arlington, pending approval from that school’s Board of Regents, to the conference.
Texas-Arlington would join UALR as the Sun Belt’s only two non-football-playing members, giving the conference 12 total members effective July of 2013, including 10 that play football.
» The possibility of expanding to 14 total members, including 12 that play football, partly so that a league-championship game can be staged.
The debate is whether that should be done right away, later or not at all.
Before this week’s meetings, the Sun Belt’s plans were for each football member to eight conference games only in 2012, 2013 and 2014 no matter how many football-play members the league has, and nine in 2015.
» Which current NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) members would be considered for membership if the conference were to expand to 14, including 12 that play football, in 2013.
Candidates could include Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Jacksonville State (Ala.), Lamar and Sam Houston State.
» Whether to add two football-only members into order to get to 12 that play football.
If the Sun Belt were to do that, New Mexico State — a current member of the crumbling WAC — could be considered for football. But it is unlikely Idaho, another current WAC and former Sun Belt member with no football home as of 2013, would be considered.
By Tim Buckley, The Advertiser