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News Nuggets, 10.15.03

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

C-USA presidents spring into ready mode on realignment


10.14.03: 'Chat' with J.T. this a.m. on .. Frogs cop two weekly awards... .. More...
10.13.03: Frogs' ascension up the rankings continues... .. Record-setting QB, longtime trainer to be enshrined by UC... .. College football weekend: The good, the bad, the ugly... .. More...
10.12.03: Houston QB highlights Saturday C-USA action... .. Coaches in post-game confrontation after Memphis-MSU game... .. Colonel Rebel bites dust, leaves no heirs... .. More...
10.11.03: Frogs hop over South Florida... barely... .. NCAA mounts push on academic performance... .. LSU AD calls on fans to squeal on troublemakers... .. More...
10.10.03: Fall break frees up tickets for Pirates-Tar Heels battle... .. Friday night's TCU at USF TV capsule... .. 'Vote' for the Blazers, urges UAB campaign... .. Gamecocks start fast, then hang on... .. Vandy downsizing prompts Turner to jump ship... .. Bulls baseball stages 'blood' match... .. More...
10.09.03: Countdown ticking towards blast off for Pirate hoops... .. Thursday night's college football TV capsules... .. Glantz-Culver Division I-A Power Index... .. More...
10.08.03: Longer-range three-point line on the way... .. Attendance on the rise for C-USA football... .. Emergency fund for ECU athletes needs your pocket change... .. More...
10.07.03: ECU harrier adds to career haul of league honors... .. Army Heisman heroes still receiving honors... .. Tough stretch ahead for ambitious Hokies... .. More...
10.06.03: College football weekend: The good, the bad and the ugly... .. Frogs regain momentum in both polls... .. Fan jailed for zonking UNLV coach on noggin... .. Paddy wagon loads up during drunken post-game melee... .. More...
10.05.03: Frogs still unblemished but Cardinals bite the dust... .. TCU No. 1 in Golfweek/Sagarin golf rankings... .. Baseball America honors Cougars' Cho... .. More...

In the wake of Boston College's defection from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Conference USA conducted its annual fall Board of Directors Meeting Tuesday in Chicago and issued a buoyant news release, including quotes from the group's executive and the league's commissioner.

“We had a very productive meeting of the Conference’s Presidents and Chancellors,” said Dr. Shirley Raines, president of the University of Memphis and chair of the Conference USA Board of Directors. “The group continues to work very well together in resolving the complex issues related to membership and in setting its course for a very exciting and an even stronger Conference USA.”

Complex indeed, if recent speculation about a new league configuration involving 12 or 13 Division I-A football-playing schools is correct. The revised league would bring in members from the Western Athletic and Mid-American Conferences to offset the potential losses of Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville and Marquette to the regrouping Big East and Charlotte and Saint Louis to the Atlantic 10.

Regardless of what happens, C-USA's presidents have apparently agreed on the next steps they will take.

“The Board has provided the Commissioner with a consensus on the future direction of the conference and we are prepared to move forward as anticipated changes occur,” said Raines.

For now, according to C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky, all schools are holding steady and a plan is in place for when that changes.

"No member has formally withdrawn and no new members have been added,“ he said in the prepared statement. “It remains inappropriate to speculate on particular members that might be leaving or joining the conference.

"We did, however, have an open and active conversation about what is both possible and desirable. We are genuinely excited about the opportunities this change represents and are well prepared.”

Ultimately, C-USA's future actions will be influenced by the decimated Big East's next move in the realignment chess match. The Big East's linchpin football powers, Miami and Virginia Tech, decided over the summer to accept invitations to join the ACC.

The Big East has said it will decide by early November the direction it will take in the future. Questions remain as to whether the remaining football-playing schools — Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse and West Virginia — will peel away to form a new conference or to seek membership in other leagues.

TCU, Louisville accommodate change for TV

FORT WORTH - The Texas Christian basketball office has announced several changes to the 2003-04 schedule, according to Horned Frogs coach Neil Dougherty. The highlight is an additional national television appearance for the Horned Frogs.

The TCU-Louisville game, originally set for Wednesday, Feb. 18, has been moved up a day to Tuesday, Feb. 17, so that the contest can be televised by ESPN2. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m. (CT). The Frogs' other national television appearance is slotted for Monday, Dec. 1 vs. Kansas. That game will get underway at 10:00 p.m. (CT).

"We're excited to be able to showcase TCU and Fort Worth to national television audiences against two traditional basketball powerhouses in Kansas and Louisville," Dougherty said.

Another Conference USA game involving TCU also changed dates. The Horned Frogs will now host Southern Miss at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 28, instead of on Saturday, Feb. 7.

In addition, due to scheduling conflicts for both schools, TCU and SMU have mutually agreed to postpone this year's meeting. The rivalry will resume during the 2004-05 season.

The Horned Frogs begin the season with an exhibition game against Interhoop on Friday, Nov. 7. Tip time for that game has moved to 7:30 p.m. (CT).

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member schools, and from Associated Press and other reports. Copyright 2003 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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