Charlotte, N.C. - The
Charlotte 49ers are moving to Conference USA.
In a press conference held on-campus in the Student Union, today, UNC Charlotte
Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois announced that the university has accepted an
invitation to join Conference USA, in all sports, beginning in the 2013-14
"The invitation to join Conference USA is momentous in what it can do for our
university," Dubois said. "As stewards of this university, it is
incumbent upon us to provide the best leadership for today and the best promise
for tomorrow. We have yet to take a snap on McColl-Richardson
field, yet to play our first game, yet to have even our first practice - but
because of who we are, because of what we've done, and because of the great
community we live in - we have the unique opportunity to become one of the
first programs in history to go from no football to FBS (Football Bowl
Subdivision) football in the minimum time allowed by NCAA regulations."
Conference USA is an FBS Conference that will provide a home for all 17 of the
49ers sports, including football. The 49ers football team will enjoy its
inaugural season in 2013 as an independent FCS (Football Championship
Subdivision) program and will compete in its first FBS season in Conference USA
in 2015. Charlotte will be bowl eligible for football in the 2016
season. Each of the 49ers other 16 sports will begin play in Conference
USA in 2013-14.
"In adding football, it was imperative that we find a conference to compete in
- and today we struck gold," said Director of Athletics Judy Rose. "We
not only found a conference to play in - but we found an FBS Conference.
A top 10 basketball conference. A conference that includes regional
rivals, and holds national attention and it's a conference that has an in-state
opponent to fight for bragging rights. It's a strong conference across
Conference USA, which is adding four other schools, will have a 13-team
membership that includes Charlotte, East Carolina, Florida International,
Louisiana Tech, Marshall, North Texas, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Tulane,
Tulsa, UAB, UTEP and University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
"We are so excited to welcome Charlotte back to Conference USA," said C-USA
Commissioner Britton Banowsky. "It is a dynamic time in intercollegiate
athletics and the leadership at the University are taking bold steps to ensure
its future. We are pleased to be able to partner with them at the launch of
their football program, and work together towards a common vision of
Charlotte was a member of Conference USA from 1995-96 to 2004-05. The
49ers joined the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2005-06 and will remain in that
league through the 2012-13 season.
"We thank Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky and the league's
presidents for this wonderful opportunity," Rose added. "We enjoyed
our time in the Atlantic 10 but we needed to find a permanent home for our
football program. We found Conference USA -- and it feels great."
This is the school's fifth membership in a Division I Conference.
Charlotte was also a member of the Sun Belt Conference (1976-77 to 1990-91),
the Metro Conference (1991-92 to 1994-95), Conference USA (1995-96 to 2004-05)
and the Atlantic 10 conference (2005-06 to present).
"Being given the opportunity to move directly into an FBS Conference with our
start-up football program is unprecedented," said Gene Johnson, chair of the
university's Board of Trustees. "This is just something that does
not happen. But this is a special time for us and special things are
Conference USA makeup:
Charlotte, East Carolina, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Marshall,
North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UTEP, UT-San Antonio.
Charlotte succeeded in landing its football program in an FBS Conference while
remaining in a top 10 men's basketball conference. The league had an RPI
of 11 this past year in women's basketball, as well. In addition, the
49ers join a conference that has sent teams to 5 of the last 7 College Baseball
World Series, sent five teams to last year's golf and softball NCAA Tournaments
and four teams to the last two NCAA Men's Soccer Tournaments. Women's
soccer and volleyball have also been multiple bid sports for Conference USA.
Conference USA has also crowned national champions in track and field and cross
country and sent men's and women's tennis teams to last year's NCAA Sweet 16.
FBS History: Charlotte's
football program is one of a very few that's first conference will be an FBS
Conference. The Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) is the top level of
college football. There are 11 FBS Conferences in the country.
Charlotte will begin play in Conference USA in 16 sports in 2013-14.
Football's first season of competition in Conference USA will be 2015-16.
Charlotte's football team will compete as an independent in 2013 and 2014.
Charlotte 49ers NCAA Div.
I Conference Membership:
Sun Belt Conference, 1976-77 to 1990-91
Metro Conference, 1991-92 to 1994-95
Conference USA, 1995-96 to 2004-05
Atlantic 10 Conference, 2005-06 to 2012-13
Conference USA, 2013-14
C-USA TV Partners: C-USA
enjoys significant television exposure through a multi-tiered selection process
that is rooted in partnerships with FOX Sports Media Group, CBS Sports Network,
and ESPN. By partnering with FOX Sports Media Group and extending an
existing partnership with CBS Sports Network, the league has substantially
increased the number of national and regional appearances for football, men's
and women's basketball, and all other conference sports. ESPN carries the
C-USA Football Championship.
C-USA & NCAA
Governance: Along with the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and
SEC, Conference USA is one of the seven conferences having significant
representation in the NCAA governance structure. The Presidents of the member
institutions serve as the league's Board of Directors.
Primary Bowl Ties:
We don't know what the bowl
picture will look like exactly when we become bowl eligible, but in 2013 they
expect to have five primary ties along with one secondary tie (Military Bowl).
Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tenn. (SEC)
Hawai'I Bowl, Honolulu, Hawai'I (Mountain West)
New Orleans Bowl, New Orleans, La. (Sun Belt)
Beef O'Brady's Bowl, St. Petersburg, Fla. (Big East)
Ticket City Bowl, Dallas, Texas (Big Ten)