BOCA RATON, Fla. — As Florida Atlantic prepares to play what is expected to be its final Conference USA schedule this fall, it will do so against two of the three member institutions that have publicly announced their intentions to leave the league before the start of the 2022 season.
C-USA on Tuesday released its 2022 football schedule, which includes three schools -- Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Mississippi -- that intend to play in the Sun Belt Conference this year.
Along with the schedule release came a statement warning that C-USA "will exhaust all necessary legal actions to ensure all members meet their contractual obligations as defined by and agreed to" in the conference bylaws.
Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Mississippi last week announced their intent to terminate their membership with C-USA on June 30. However, C-USA bylaws stipulate that member institutions must provide at least 14 months' notice before departing. The three schools announced their plans to change conferences in October, so leaving in June would be well shy of the 14-month requirement.
As the schedule currently stands, FAU will host Old Dominion on Oct. 29 and visit Marshall on Nov. 12. But the Owls had better have a backup plan.
Marshall interim athletic director Jeff O'Malley said Tuesday on Twitter that the school has no intention of playing a C-USA schedule in 2022.
Marshall Athletics is aware that Conference USA released its 2022 football schedule this afternoon, however, we stand by our statement from Friday. https://t.co/Ivh4qWQoPd— Jeff O'Malley (@jeffgoherd) February 15, 2022
FAU is one of six schools leaving C-USA for the American Athletic Conference. However, the Owls, along with Charlotte, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA, aren't planning to begin AAC play until 2023, when C-USA adds Jacksonville State, Liberty, New Mexico State and Sam Houston State.