Conference USA reportedly adds Middle Tennessee State, Florida Atlantic after Tulane, East Carolina departures

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As the Big East quickly becomes the “New Conference USA,” the real C-USA is scrambling to fill in the gaps left by the sudden departures of its member schools.

After it was announced Tuesday that Tulane would join the Big East as a full member and East Carolina would make the same shift as a football-only school, Conference USA worked quickly to add Middle Tennessee State to its ranks, Harry Minium of The Virginian-Pilot is reporting.

The Middle Tennessee State move had been in realignment discussions before, with the school missing out on C-USA expansion that took place in the spring. At that time, the conference added six schools.

MTSU comes over from the Sun Belt and will become Conference USA’s 13th school. It’s likely that the conference is not done expanding, though.

Buzz has picked up that the C-USA is looking to add a 14th member, likely Florida Atlantic, also from the Sun Belt, or New Mexico State from the WAC.

Middle Tennessee State is 4-1 so far this basketball season under head coach Kermit Davis. Senior Marcos Knight leads the team with 12.4 points and has added 6.2 rebounds per game for the Blue Raiders.

UPDATE 28 November 2012, 1:41 p.m. ET

Brett McMurphy of is reporting that Florida Atlantic will join Middle Tennessee State in its move to Conference USA:

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.