Marshall, Old Dominion, Southern Miss choose early C-USA exit

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Mississippi announced Friday that they plan to end their affiliations with Conference USA a year early in order to join the Sun Belt.

The three schools issued separate but similar statements, saying they’ll stop participating in Conference USA effective June 30, 2022, after considering “the best interests” of their respective schools, fans and athletes. In the fall, they had announced they’d be joining the Sun Belt by July 2023, along with FCS powerhouse James Madison.

Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Miss first told the C-USA in December of their intentions not to participate after the current school year. They wanted to ensure an amicable separation and that the remaining C-USA members had complete and competitive schedules for the sports in which the departing schools competed.

However, the schools said the league refused to discuss a resolution with them.

“Our student-athletes, coaches, staff, fan base and the remaining members of Conference USA are deserving of clarity in this matter, thus the need for today’s message,” Marshall said.

Conference USA said in a statement Friday night that all college leagues and their members have agreed-upon bylaws and contractual obligations during times of realignment.

“We have chosen not to engage publicly, but have communicated with our member institutions and expect them to meet those obligations,” C-USA said.

While the Sun Belt is gaining four schools, UT-Arlington is leaving this summer to return to the Western Athletic Conference.

Six other C-USA schools announced last year that they would be leaving for the American Athletic Conference at a date to be determined. After C-USA announced the addition of four new members starting in 2023, Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky decided they would remain in the conference.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.