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VOL. 45 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 5, 2021

Middle Tennessee staying in C-USA after league additions

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MURFREESBORO (AP) — Middle Tennessee State is sticking with Conference USA after the league announced the addition of four new members starting in 2023.

President Sidney McPhee said in a statement posted on the school website Wednesday that they've watched the Division I landscape for athletics change in the past several weeks. McPhee said MTSU appreciated the interest that other conferences showed in its program.

"Working with our four remaining members, as well as our new partners, Conference USA is poised to rebrand itself as a premier conference in the Group of 5," McPhee wrote.

Mid-American Conference presidents met on Nov. 5 with possible expansion on the agenda and C-USA members Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State as potential options, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league's discussions are private.

That same day, C-USA announced Liberty, Jacksonville State, New Mexico State and Sam Houston State as new members starting in 2023. McPhee said that gives the league a strong footprint in the South and Southwest.

Commissioner Judy MacLeod said C-USA remains a great fit for Middle Tennessee with the incoming members.

"We are very pleased that they have decided to reaffirm their commitment to C-USA as we continue to move forward as a conference," she said in a statement. "While several institutions have indicated interest in joining our league, we will use this time to be deliberate and strategic in exploring any potential additional expansion."

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AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Sign up for the AP's college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

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