MTSU to mark new conference affiliation in very public manner

Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 8:34pm

For more than six months, Middle Tennessee State anxiously has awaited the day it joins Conference USA.

On Monday, the Blue Raiders plan to celebrate their new affiliation with a party.

MTSU has numerous activities planned around Murfreesboro for the university’s first day in Conference USA. The school's athletics programs competed for the last 13 years in the Sun Belt Conference.

“It is a great opportunity for us,” football coach Rick Stockstill said. “I feel good about it. Our players are excited about the opportunity. Our fans are excited about it.”

From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., select MTSU administrators and coaches will be at the celebration headquarters, Sam’s Sports Grill at the Stones River Mall, to mingle with fans. Those on hand will include president Sidney McPhee, athletics director Chris Massaro, Stockstill, men’s basketball coach Kermit Davis and women’s basketball coach Rick Insell. Several football players will also be on hand to sign autographs.

Other football players will be signing autographs and distributing schedules and posters throughout town at the Square, Rutherford Boulevard, Broad Street, Memorial Boulevard and Church Street.

Players will be at Reeves-Sain drug store on Memorial Boulevard from 10-11 a.m. and at Chick-fil-A on Old Fort Parkway from 1-2 p.m.

Approximately 52 businesses and restaurants will wear T-shirts with the inaugural MTSU to C-USA logo. In addition, an inflatable MTSU helmet will sit off of Old Fort Parkway and a C-USA banner will drape across Broad Street and Memorial Boulevard.

A plane will fly over Murfreesboro advertising the move to Conference USA from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. There will also be a flyover in Nashville from 4-6 p.m.