Is the Sun Belt bailing on Hot Springs before the contract ends?

We were tipped off about this last week but didn't have a source. Apparently, UALR women's Coach Joe Foley let it out today.

It appears that the Sun Belt Conference will bail on Hot Springs after this year and will move the postseason basketball tournaments to New Orleans. Foley's comments were made to the Downtown Tipoff Club, where he and men's Coach Steve Shields were the guest speakers today.

Here's a discussion of Foley's comments on the Trojan Town message board:

The Sun Belt and Hot Springs are in the second of a three-year contract for the postseason tournament. And this year is the fifth consecutive year the tournament has been in Hot Springs.

Don't be surprised to see Hot Springs land another tournament. If I were the Southland Conference, I'd be on the phone right now.

The moving of the tournament appears directly tied to new commissioner Karl Benson. He has been talking about moving it since the day he was hired (even before he ever set foot in Hot Springs). This is despite the fact that the tournament has been an unbelievable success for a neutral site.

Hot Springs and the Hot Springs Convention Center (Summit Arena) bent over backwards to give the Sun Belt whatever it said it wanted. That included free rent and even constructing a secondary basketball court. It even meant losing the ability to host the state high school tournaments this year (conflicting dates).