With shakeups happening across the college football landscape, the University of Central Florida in Orlando is trying to make a jump into a BCS automatic qualifying conference.

But rumors have been swirling that UCF’s neighbor to the west, the University of South Florida, is trying to block UCF from making that jump to USF’s conference.

Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi blasted USF president Dr. Judy Genshaft in a recent column for her apparent push to shut UCF out of a better conference — a move he suggests could add to Florida’s economic woes by stifling the business boost a bigger conference and bigger games would bring to Orlando.

Genshaft is apparently dodging Bianchi’s questions and has reportedly been unreachable when media tries asking her about supporting UCF. Bianchi also spoke with former state Sen. Lee Constantine, a UCF alumnus, who is sure Genshaft is trying to block the Knights from the Big East.

“Make no mistake about it,” Constantine told Bianchi, “Judy Genshaft is behind this. She unsuccessfully tried to stand in the way of UCF getting a medical school and now she’s trying to stand in the way of UCF’s football program. It’s becoming very transparent, and it’s time for our state legislature to say enough is enough. What you have here is one state-funded institution harming another state-funded institution and costing the taxpayers money.”

After KnightNews.com read Constantine’s quote, we decided to ask state leaders what they thought about Genshaft’s reported efforts to hinder UCF. When KnightNews.com’s Lauren Walsh caught up with Speaker of the House Dean Cannon — one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers — it was clear he’s not pleased with how Genshaft is handling this situation.

KnightNews.com will work to contact Genshaft about this growing controversy, now being discussed among top state lawmakers.