Marshall officially joins Sun Belt Conference, WVU joins as men’s soccer affiliate
Marshall and WVU were ranked top five nationally in Men’s Soccer last season
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDTV) - Marshall University officially joined the Sun Belt Conference this Friday, leaving Conference USA after a long winded dispute over its departure.
Alongside Marshall, Southern Mississippi and Old Dominion will join the Herd as teams to leave C-USA for the Sun Belt. James Madison University also joins the SBC for its first season of FBS football, rounding out the additions for the conference.
Marshall brings an NCAA national championship in men’s soccer to the table that it won back in 2020, opening the door for the Sun Belt to reinstate men’s soccer for the first time since the pandemic.
Because of the reinstatement, WVU will join the Sun Belt this fall for men’s soccer as one of the Sun Belt’s affiliate members for the sport. This means that Marshall vs WVU, a game that had over 3000 fans in attendance last season, will now be a yearly occurrence.
While most conferences sponsor women’s soccer, the Big 12 currently does not sponsor men’s soccer. WVU is the only member school to sponsor the sport, meaning that it must join another conference as an affiliate. Kentucky and South Carolina are in the same boat, joining the SBC as affiliates due to the SEC’s lack of sponsorship. UCF will also join the SBC in 2023 following its jump to the Big 12 for other sports.
The Sun Belt will be one of the most exciting soccer conferences in the country. The announced teams for 2022 combine for over 100 NCAA Tournament appearances. Many of the teams were ranked nationally in 2021, including Marshall and WVU, a top 5 matchup.
WVU and Marshall will take the field for their first conference matchup on September 24th in Huntington.
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