President Angel called a special meeting of the Board of Governors, held in the Shawkey Room of the Marshall Memorial Student Union. "A move to Conference USA affords Marshall University the opportunity to extend its championship image to a wider market of potential students and supporters," Angel said. "This move places the institution in a competitive mode in many areas and will benefit both athletics and academics."
Director of Athletics for Marshall University, Bob "Kayo" Marcum said of the move to CUSA, "The Mid-American Conference has been a great league for Marshall, but we are extremely excited about our proposed membership in Conference USA and the opportunity to develop new rivalries. We anticipate having a formal announcement soon with Conference USA regarding its membership realignment."
Marshall rejoined the MAC in 1997 to move up to Division I-A football after 20 years (1977-97) in the Southern Conference as a I-AA football program. Marshall won two National Championships, appeared in eight I-AA playoffs, advanced to the championship game six times and won three SC league titles between 1987 and 1996. MU was an independent program from 1969 through 1976 and has previously been a member of the Ohio Valley Conference (1948-52), the Buckeye Conference (1933-38) and was a founding member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (1925-1933, 1940-48 as a non-competing member).
Conference USA is expeted to add Marshall, Rice , Tulsa, SMU and possibly MAC member (for football only) UCF. Current members of CUSA include DePaul, Marquette, St. Louis, UNC-Charlotte (all four do not have DI-A football), Louisville, Cincinnati, East Carolina, UAB, Memphis, Southern Miss, South Florida, Tulane and TCU. Rumors have indicated that Louisville and Cincinati, along with DePaul and Marquette and possibly South Florida, will join the new Big East Conference (replacing Miami (FL), Virginia Tech and Boston College which are leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference. St. Louis and UNCC may receive invitations to the Atlantic 10 Conference.