Charlotte's football program, which plays its first down this fall, is expected to compete in C-USA in that sport in 2015. Old Dominion, which restarted football last decade and has become an FCS contender, was scheduled to become eligible in 2015, but that may be moved forward to '14.
The Sun Belt had raised its exit fee to $1 million last May, but both MTSU and FAU will pay $700,000. McPhee said Middle Tennessee will use money from private donations to the athletic department with $350,000 due within 30 days and the rest by June 30. But McPhee said MTSU will make that money back quickly through the higher revenue sharing in C-USA.
Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson said the league agreed to a reduced exit fee to help their athletic directors finish setting their 2013 football schedules.
"While the seven-game conference schedule is not perfect, the understanding is that this would only be for one season,'' Benson said in a statement.
The departures leave the Sun Belt with eight football members and 10 total for 2013-14, so they will have a seven-game football schedule and a double round-robin 18-game schedule for men's and women's basketball.
Benson said there are currently no pending invitations to schools to join the Sun Belt, which includes Arkansas State, Georgia State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State, Troy and Western Kentucky in 2013-14 and non-football members Arkansas-Little Rock and Texas-Arlington.
"However, we know that there are a number of teams interested in joining our league,'' Benson said.