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Southern Miss joins Sun Belt Conference

Southern Miss, Sun Belt logos
Southern Miss, Sun Belt logos(WMBF)
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 3:51 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WTOK) - The Sun Belt Conference announced on Tuesday the addition of The University of Southern Mississippi into the league after a unanimous vote of the Sun Belt CEOs.

Southern Miss will become members no later than July 1, 2023. During a press conference, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Keith Gill is thrilled for the addition of Southern Miss.

“This is a big day for our conference. Southern Miss brings a host of strengths to our conference. They are competitive across all of their sports, have a strong brand and are supported by a great fan base. The electric atmosphere surrounding their games is a tradition we are proud to now be a part of,” said Commissioner Gill.

Southern Miss being added to the Conference brings the number of Sun Belt members to 13, joining current members App State, Little Rock, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, UTA, Texas State and Troy. 

“Membership in the Sun Belt Conference is an exciting opportunity for The University of Southern Mississippi, for our student-athletes, for our alumni and fans, and for the University’s host communities,” said University President Rodney D. Bennett. “This move will allow Southern Miss student-athletes to compete in what is fast-becoming the best Group of Five conference in the country and will provide greater visibility for the University’s championship athletics programs.”

“The Sun Belt’s geographic footprint will create new regional rivalries and will encourage more visitors to Mississippi, further increasing our athletics programs’ $41 million annual economic impact on the state,” Bennett said. 

The Golden Eagles will come into this program with 17 varsity sports. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field and tennis. Women’s sports include basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, golf, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

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