WKU to remain in Conference USA

Jake Moore, Sports Editor

WKU isn’t leaving Conference USA anytime soon.

The Hilltoppers and rival MTSU Blue Raiders have been rumored as potential expansion candidates for the Mid-American Conference for the past week, but this did not come to fruition.

MTSU athletic director Chris Massaro confirmed his program’s commitment to the conference to  Yahoo Sports on Wednesday morning, and a statement from C-USA commissioner Judy McLeod soon followed.

Reports surfaced on Monday that the MAC would only accept both programs, not just WKU by itself. MTSU deciding to stay put struck a blow to WKU’s MAC hopes.

WKU was open to accept a bid to the MAC, but the conference announced on Wednesday afternoon it had no intent on expanding.

WKU President Timothy Caboni and Director of Athletics Todd Stewart then released a statement to confirm that the Hilltoppers will remain in C-USA.

“During the last month, conference realignment once again touched the collegiate athletics industry, with no conference more affected than Conference USA,” the statement reads. “We’ve seen some highs, some lows and certainly some disappointments. Conference realignment is a fluid process with more waves likely to come.”

“Since joining Conference USA on July 1, 2014, the league has been a meaningful home for WKU Athletics and will continue as such. C-USA has provided a platform for our programs to shine through competitive play and collaboration, and we have celebrated many significant team and individual accomplishments.”

The 2021 conference realignment saga now seems to be settled as the two programs were the last major schools in talks to move elsewhere. Starting in 2023, Conference USA will be made up of FIU, LA Tech, UTEP, WKU, MTSU and new members Liberty, Jacksonville State, New Mexico State and Sam Houston State.

The 100 Miles of Hate rivalry will continue on in Conference USA.

Sports Editor Jake Moore can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Charles_JMoore.