Report: SEC rejects WVU application for membership

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With the sudden departures of Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC, coupled with the possibility of a major shift in conference realignment, the Big East has now been placed on the verge of non-existence.

Although it’s likely the Big East would try and absorb any remaining members of the Big 12 — provided the conference dissolves — to keep itself afloat, that hasn’t stopped multiple members, including Rutgers, Connecticut and West Virginia, from seeing the writing on the wall and trying to get the hell outta Dodge.

Unfortunately for the latter school, their attempts seem to be failing.

Multiple Big East sources have told Brett McMurphy of CBSSports — the man on the forefront of Syracuse/Pitt shuffle — that WVU officials have said both the SEC and the ACC have rejected the school’s application for membership.

The rejection by the ACC is no surprise; the Mountaineers have been passed over three times for ACC membership. A source with knowledge of the situation has told CFT that “every person I’ve spoken with said the same thing: the ACC does not want WVU.”

Multiple reports have stated that at least 10 schools had applied for ACC membership — including, apparently, West Virginia.

It wasn’t any secret that WVU was hoping for an invite from the SEC. Appearing on MetroNews Talkline yesterday, former WVU president Dr. Gene Budig said there was “no reason to be nervous” about the school’s future in conference realignment.

A day later, you can bet the folks in Morgantown have a reason to be anxious. Despite a recent history of success in football and basketball, West Virginia, as a state, has no television market or recruiting grounds, and as an institution, is not a member of the Association of American Universities*.

(*note: some conferences like the Big Ten and ACC place more consideration on academic standards than others) 

This is not to say that WVU could not end up in the SEC down the road; it’ll depend on how large conferences go. Currently, the SEC doesn’t need to take another program just to have a body. West Virginia doesn’t exactly provide a ton of value for the reasons mentioned above — at least not in the current pool of available programs.

Regardless, it looks like West Virginia is going to have to wait the realignment drama out a little longer before they’ll know where they land.

Former Navy coach Niumatalolo joins UCLA staff

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LOS ANGELES – Former Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo is joining UCLA’s coaching staff as director of leadership.

The school said in an announcement Friday that Niumatalolo will serve as an advisor to the Bruins’ football staff and players.

Niumatalolo led Navy for 15 years and was the winningest coach in school history at 109-83. The Midshipmen, however, finished with losing records the past three seasons, including 4-8 the past two.

Navy played in 10 bowl games under Niumatalolo. He also was the only coach to win his first eight games in the storied Army-Navy rivalry.

Troy, Jon Sumrall agree to new 4-year contract through 2026

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Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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TROY, Ala. ⁠— Jon Sumrall agreed to a new four-year contract as Troy’s coach after leading the Trojans to a Sun Belt Conference championship and national ranking in his debut season.

The school announced the deal, which runs through 2026, but didn’t release details.

The Trojans went 12-2 and won their final 11 games, second only to national champion Georgia, including the league championship game and the Cure Bowl against UTSA. For the first time, they finished a season ranked, ending up 19th in The Associated Press Top 25.

“When we appointed Coach Sumrall in December 2021, we challenged him to return Troy football to the top of the Sun Belt Conference,” Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. said. “It didn’t take long, as the 2022 season was the best in our FBS history.”

Troy held all 14 of its opponents to under their season average in scoring, beating UTSA 18-12. The Trojans beat Coastal Carolina 45-26 in the Sun Belt title game.

“Last year was an amazing accomplishment for everyone associated with Troy football and was the product of relentless effort from our players and staff, athletic administration and university leaders,” Sumrall said.