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College All-Star Challenge at FIU; UNO Leaves Sun Belt

Fiustad FIU Stadium will be the host of the College Football All-Star Challenge. The event will be taped at FIU on Monday, Feb. 1 from 1:00-3:30 p.m.

In previous years, the challenge has featured NFL stars such as Drew Brees, Donovan McNabb, Matt Ryan, Reggie Wayne, DeAngelo Williams and Edgerrin James. The event will be aired by ESPN on Friday, Feb. 5 at 9 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

Apaw Will have LIVE HOOPS BLOG of FIU/Arkansas State at 7:54 p.m. tommorrow (Thursday, Jan. 21). Tip-off is at 8 p.m.

UNO LESS TEAM IN SUN BELT

This is from a press release from the Sun Belt Conference this afternoon:

The University of New Orleans has voluntarily withdrawn its Sun Belt Conference membership effective JulyUno 1, 2010. UNO will drop to Division III.

Budget cuts, the continuing recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the failure of a student referendum to increase student fees for athletics previously forced the university administration to establish plans to maintain a Division I athletic program with far more stringent financial constraints.

UNO was a founding member of the Sun Belt Conference in 1976 and later rejoined the league in 1991.

UNO originally suspended nine of its 15 intercollegiate sports in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Sun Belt Conference headquarters, which has been located in New Orleans since 1991, will remain in its downtown office as it still remains an approximate geographic center for the league's member institutions.

With the withdrawal of UNO, the Sun Belt Conference will be comprised of 12 member institutions of which nine play in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

For the three Sun Belt sports with divisional play (men's basketball, women's basketball and volleyball) teams will remain in their current divisions with each division now comprised of six institutions (East: Florida Atlantic, FIU, Middle Tennessee, South Alabama, Troy and Western Kentucky - West: UALR, Arkansas State, Denver, Louisiana, ULM and North Texas). 

Sun Belt Conference men's and women's basketball teams will begin competing in 2010-2011 in a 16-game conference schedule with each team playing a home and away game against teams within their division.  Additionally each team will play all members of the opposite division with three of those games being played at home and three on the road.

Sun Belt volleyball schedules will also feature a 16-game format, The league's volleyball championship will continue to be conducted in an eight team format.

The Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship will continue under the same format with eight teams participating.  The league schedule will also continue to feature 30 games for the 10 teams that will compete in the league beginning in 2011. Each team will play a home and away three-game series against their natural rival with the series' scheduled for the first and last week of the season.  The natural rival designation for FIU is FAU.

Scheduling standards for football will remain unchanged with each team playing four home conference games and four road conference games.  With the anticipated arrival of South Alabama for football in 2012, the conference will expand to 10 football institutions with teams continuing an 8-game conference schedule and one natural rival remaining on the schedule each year. (In other words the Shula Bowl will always be an annual game as it should be.)

NCAA transfer rules are still applicable for current UNO student-athletes and all Sun Belt Conference member institutions have been notified.

"The Sun Belt Conference will move on as a 12-member league and there are not any current plans for expansion or contraction," said Commissioner Wright Waters.

 

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