The two Marshal and the Sun Belt tweets on Friday regarding the addition of the school.
No timeline has been set for Marshall to move to the Sun Belt, but Southern Miss and Old Dominion – the other two schools leaving Conference USA – are expected to join by July 1, 2023.
Also on Friday, James Madison – an FCS powerhouse who won the national title in 2016 and has played two title games since – took steps to join the Sun Belt. The school’s visitors’ council executive committee passed a motion to continue upgrading to FBS and request an invitation to the conference.
The Sun Belt would reach 16 schools and 14 football programs if all the additions materialize. He is focusing his expansion efforts on strong football programs within or near the league’s footprint, rather than those in major metropolitan areas.
Following the departures to the Sun Belt and the planned moves of six other schools to the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA will have only five members: Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Florida International, UTEP and Louisiana Tech. Conference USA commissioner Judy MacLeod said the league is looking for new members, including FCS schools considering switching to FBS.
Marshall had been a member of Conference USA since 2005.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and The Associated Press contributed to this report.