The effects of conference realignment on national success and competitive balance: The case of Conference USA men’s basketball
Perline, Martin M.; Stoldt, G. Clayton, 1962-; Vermillion, Mark C. 2013. The effects of conference realignment on national success and competitive balance: The case of Conference USA men’s basketball. Sport Journal, vol. 14
Collegiate athletic conferences serve multiple functions, including providing regular opportunities for members to compete in a relatively equitable environment and contributing to the financial well being of member institutions. Many conferences have undergone realignment in recent years, and the effects of those changes may impact the degree to which conferences realize those desired outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to assess how the churning of various institutions (i.e., changes in conference membership as institutions leave or are added) within Conference USA over a 10-year period affected the conference’s men’s basketball programs in regard to success at the national level and competitive balance within the conference. Both national success and competitive balance within the conference can significantly impact the financial well-being of the conference. Results of the study indicate decreases in both the competitive success of the men’s basketball programs at the national level and the in-conference competitive balance between the 2000-2001 through 2004-2005 and the 2005-2006 through 2009-1010 time periods.