IRVING, Texas - Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky has confirmed the membership agreements with Middle Tennessee State University and Florida Atlantic University will become effective July 1, 2013.
"We are very pleased to welcome Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic to Conference USA next season," Banowsky said. "We look forward to supporting a 16-member league, with 14 football teams competing for Conference USA in 2013."
Located in Murfreesboro, Tenn., just outside of Nashville, Middle Tennessee boasts an enrollment of 25,394 students. The school sponsors 17 NCAA Division I sports and is the largest undergraduate university in the state of Tennessee. Nashville is one of only 29 television markets that reach more than 1,000,000 homes and is the fourth Top 30 market for Conference USA.
Florida Atlantic also sponsors 19 NCAA Division I sports and has an enrollment of 30,000 students. Fifteen months ago, a 30,000-seat football stadium opened on the Boca Raton campus. The Florida Department of Tourism estimates game day local economic impact at $1.7 million. In addition to the nearby Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market, the West Palm Beach market ranks No. 38 nationally.
Beginning with the 2013 season, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte), Florida International University (FIU), Louisiana Tech University, University of North Texas, Old Dominion University and University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will also begin competition in Conference USA. Current C-USA members that will remain in the league for 2013-14 include East Carolina University, Marshall University, Rice University, University of Southern Mississippi, Tulane University, The University of Tulsa, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and University of Texas El Paso (UTEP).