Posted: Tue January 22, 2013 5:41PM; Updated: Tue January 22, 2013 5:41PM

Middle Tennessee, FAU announce July 1 move to C-USA

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Middle Tennessee will leave the Sun Belt early and join Conference USA on July 1.
Middle Tennessee announced it will leave the Sun Belt early and join Conference USA on July 1.
Samuel Lewis/Icon SMI

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic are leaving the Sun Belt Conference early and joining Conference USA on July 1.

Both schools already had announced plans to switch conferences last November no later than July 1, 2014. But officials at both universities had been negotiating recently with Conference USA and the Sun Belt to speed up the move in all sports by a year.

Middle Tennessee President Sidney A. McPhee says it was in the university's best interest to make the move as soon as possible.

The Blue Raiders weren't happy at losing out on a bowl berth last December despite finishing second in the Sun Belt with an 8-4 record. They joined the Sun Belt in July 2000 and leave having won a league-best 50 Sun Belt games.

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