MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Athletic director Chris Massaro says Middle Tennessee was forced to announce that the Blue Raiders were leaving the Sun Belt Conference sooner than the university wanted to make the news public because the league was considering increasing the exit fee to as much as $10 million.
The AD detailed the realignment move Monday in a letter posted on the school website.
Massaro says Middle Tennessee was approached by Conference USA on Nov. 25 about joining, and officials hoped to announce the move after playing at Arkansas State on Dec. 1. The Sun Belt planned a board meeting Nov. 28, prompting Middle Tennessee to tell league officials of their decision. Massaro says the board meeting then was canceled.
The Blue Raiders (8-4) did not get a bowl bid Sunday.