Conference USA adds 5 schools, MWC gets 2

May 4, 2012 - 8:04 PM Irving, TX (Sports Network) - Conference USA has added Charlotte, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, North Texas and Texas-San Antonio as new members.

Meanwhile, the Mountain West also brought on two more schools Friday as the two conference eye a future partnership.

C-USA called its additions part of a "bold strategy that focuses on growing institutions in large media markets."

"There is a tremendous upside here. This is an opportunity for us to add a mixture of established and emerging programs," Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said.

"We also remain committed to divisional scheduling models that are student- athlete and fan-friendly. The more we analyzed it, the more it made sense."

Each new member will join the league in all sports beginning in 2013, with Charlotte starting conference participation in football in 2015.

Atlantic 10 commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade wished Charlotte luck in its future with C-USA.

"Charlotte has been a valued member of the Atlantic 10 Conference," McGlade said. "The 49ers have a strong athletic program and the addition of football has opened different opportunities for their future. We are looking forward to their final year of competition in the Atlantic 10 and wish them success moving forward."

Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio will leave the WAC, while Florida International and North Texas will come over from the Sun Belt Conference.

C-USA and the Mountain West Conference are planning to form a super-conference and said Friday they synchronized new membership decisions while deciding what form their alliance will take.

The Mountain West said San Jose State and Utah State have accepted invites to join the conference beginning in 2013.

"The discussions with the Mountain West are ongoing," Banowsky said. "What form the relationship will take is still to be determined, but both remain committed to working together."

Following recent exits, the current members of C-USA include East Carolina, Marshall, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Tulane, Tulsa, Alabama-Birmingham and Texas-El Paso.

The Mountain West currently has five of its original members -- Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming -- and will be joined by Fresno State and Nevada on July 1. Hawaii will become a football-only member on the same day.

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