RUSTON, La. — In a news conference on campus on Friday, Louisiana Tech University accepted an invitation to join Conference USA in all sports starting in July 2013.
The school has been a member of the Western Athletic Conference since July 2001. FOX Sports analyst, Louisiana Football Hall of Fame member and Tech alum Terry Bradshaw was involved in helping the school make the move.
Along with Louisiana Tech, Conference USA added four more schools to its conference in recent weeks to bring the conference to 13 schools for 2013. The University of North Texas, University of Texas-San Antonio, Florida International University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte recently announced their memberships to the conference.
A new in-state rivalry will be instantly created, as Tulane in New Orleans is a current member of Conference USA. The other existing members to the conference roster, University of Alabama-Birmingham, East Carolina University, Marshall University, Rice University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Tulsa and the University of Texas-El Paso, is a move by mid-major conferences to draw more national attention by strengthening their conference membership.
Conference USA is not considered one of the power conferences in the Division-I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), which gets automatic conference berths in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). However, the addition of more schools to Conference USA could allow the league to be more competitive nationally. With the new school additions, schools will be set into conference divisions. Additional expansion may also be on the way according to the league office.