Marshall, USA Conference in Spat Over Conference Realignment

Conference USA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. Marshall is seeking to resolve the lawsuit in the courts o...


Conference USA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Marshall is seeking to resolve the lawsuit in the courts of his home county in West Virginia rather than in arbitration, the league’s preferred forum. The university said in its lawsuit that when Marshall signed its agreement to become a member of Conference USA in 2003, there was no provision in the bylaws that required arbitration if a member school decided to leave the conference.

When asked why Marshall was trying to expedite his departure from Conference USA, Jason Corriher, the university’s assistant athletic director for media relations, provided a statement citing “the best interests of student-athletes at Marshall and his loyal fans”. The statement adds that the university wanted to find an amicable solution but the conference refused attempts at discussion.

The lawsuit, Marshall said in a second statement, is “the beginning of litigation intended to protect our rights, help us reach a timely settlement, and pave the way for our change of conference affiliation. “. Corriher said the school has no desire to talk more about the lawsuit.

The Sun Belt declined to comment, instead referring to Marshall’s public statements.

Stony Brook (America East Conference), University of Illinois at Chicago (Horizon League), and James Madison (Colonial Athletic Conference) have all decided to leave their respective leagues beginning with the 2022-23 college year.

In response, conferences barred college teams from participating in all conference tag team championships, citing existing league regulations that make a school’s athletic teams ineligible to play in the playoffs once a member institution intends to withdraw from the conference.

It’s the latest example of the bitterness of conference realignment, one in which student-athletes who have been banned from competition are feeling the most severe consequences of contract disputes.

Last week, Stony Brook, the University of Illinois at Chicago and James Madison released a joint statement calling on conferences to eliminate membership transition provisions that directly impact student-athletes.

“Student-athletes across the country have admirably weathered the physical and mental toll of the past two years impacted by the pandemic,” the statement said. “No conference should impose participation penalties that inflict unnecessary additional damage.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Marshall, USA Conference in Spat Over Conference Realignment
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