Southern Miss to exit Conference USA a year early

Published 5:15 pm Friday, February 11, 2022

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss will exit Conference USA in June, a year earlier than expected, the university announced.

In a statement released Friday, the university said it has not been able to come to an agreement with Conference USA officials on scheduling and other issues “to achieve an amicable separation.”

Southern Miss and fellow C-USA members Marshall and Old Dominion, announced in October that they are leaving the league to join the Sun Belt Conference at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.

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Instead, Southern Miss will exit Conference USA on June 30, 2022. Southern Miss said it first advised C-USA officials of the new date in December 2021.

Marshall and Old Dominion released similar statements on Friday.

“The Conference’s unwillingness to discuss the concept of separation this year creates confusion and doubt for all concerned,” Southern Miss’ statement said. “The remaining members of Conference USA deserve certainty about their schedules as they plan for competition next year. For their sake, the University makes public its intent.”

In October, Southern Miss athletic director Jeremy McClain said his school would have to pay a $3 million exit fee to leave Conference USA. It was unclear if that number would rise in order to leave in 2022 instead of 2023.