ODU Sports

Conference USA Summer Retreat Focuses on the Future

August 16, 2013
By ODU Athletics

IRVING, Texas - The Conference USA Board of Directors and Athletics Directors held its summer retreat earlier this week with C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky and staff. The two-day retreat focused on the future of the conference and the important objectives of the membership moving forward.

"We had a productive retreat," C-USA Board of Directors Chair and UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio said. "Our goal was to engage everyone on the key issues facing college athletics and develop alignment going forward. This membership group is off to a great start."

The group discussed a number of items, with some priority shown to the following issues:

Funding for Student-Athletes
Conference USA continues to be supportive of funding student-athlete scholarships up to the full cost of attendance, but is opposed to "pay for play." The conference continues to monitor NCAA litigation, keeping a close eye on particular cases including the "Name and Likeness" lawsuit.

Student-Athlete Safety
The health and safety of our student-athletes is a fundamental priority. The Conference will continue to focus significant attention on health and safety standards, as well as the educational and personal development of our student-athletes.

NCAA Reform and Governance
Conference USA shares the frustration of other FBS conferences with our collective inability to develop value-based solutions to major issues in intercollegiate athletics. Our leadership will work with our colleagues to develop improvements in the way we address these issues in the governance system.

Transfer Rates
Conference USA members share a concern over the high transfer rates of student-athletes, particularly in the sport of men's basketball. We hope to help implement stricter standards, while pursuing a more thoughtful approach to how transfers are treated in the APR methodology.

The Conference agreed to develop scheduling models in all sports that minimize missed class time and are efficient, recognizing the need for student-athletes to spend as much time as possible on campus.

Postseason Bowls
The Conference developed plans for future postseason bowls, emphasizing the desire to have a sufficient number of bowl tie-ins to ensure that all eligible teams have a post season opportunity.

The Board of Directors will meet again in October, while the athletics directors will convene by teleconference September 3, 2013.

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