WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart speaks about the move to Conference USA.
After 32 years as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, WKU has now officially become a member of the newly re-aligned, 14 member Conference USA. It's a move Athletic Director Todd Stewart has been working toward for several years, but even he admits it's a high-risk, high-reward situation.
Stewart spoke with Joe Corcoran about leaving the comforts of the Sun Belt for the new challenges ahead.
The WKU Hilltoppers' 2014 football season opener has been rescheduled. The athletic department announced Tuesday that the opener against Bowling Green State will now take place Friday, Aug. 29 instead of Thursday, Aug. 28.
The game will be played at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
The school says the change was at the request of Conference USA and the league's television partners.
It will be the Hilltoppers' first year in Conference USA. The team is continuing spring football practice this week.
Four new opponents highlight the WKU Hilltoppers’ 2014 football schedule. The school’s athletic department announced the schedule Monday afternoon. It will be the first year for the ‘Toppers in Conference USA and they’ll open up the schedule on Thursday, Aug. 28 against Bowling Green State at L.T. Smith Stadium.
They’ll take on Illinois for the first time in school history September 6th and will also face conference opponents Old Dominion, Texas-El Paso and Texas-San Antonio for the first time.
Army travels to Bowling Green to take on WKU November 15th. The school also announced its ticket plans for the 2014 season on Monday.
With the largest collegiate athletic conferences pushing to allow extra financial benefits for players, smaller schools like WKU are wondering how such changes would impact their bottom lines.
The issue of increasing compensation for college athletes is being discussed this week at an NCAA summit in San Diego. A group of high-profile conferences wants the ability to grant stipends that would pay for costs not covered by athletic scholarships.
NCAA President Mark Emmert recently said he believes such a stipend plan will soon become a reality.
WKU athletic director Todd Stewart says nothing is set in stone yet about how such stipends would be used.