Sun Belt Conference
The Sun Belt Conference is a group of college sports teams that play each other on the NCAA Division I level. The conference was formed in 1976, and started playing football in 2001. Of the current 12 full members (those playing most of their sports in the league), nine play football in the top-level Division I FBS. Two do not play football, and the league's newest member, Coastal Carolina, will move its football team from the second-level Division I FCS to the Sun Belt Conference in 2017. The conference's full members are scattered through the southern United States.
Members[change | change source]
The current non-football members are Coastal Carolina, Little Rock, and Texas–Arlington. Coastal will join for football in 2017.
- Georgia State left the Sun Belt in 1981 and returned in 2013.
Associate members[change | change source]
In the past, the Sun Belt has had "associate members" that play only a few sports, usually one, in the league. Since 2014, the league once again has associate members, with two playing only football and two playing only men's soccer.
The Sun Belt announced in 2016 that its agreements for Idaho and New Mexico State to play football in the league would not be renewed when they end after the 2017 season.
|Nickname||Joined||Sun Belt sport||Main conference|
|Hartwick College||Oneonta, New York||1797||Private||Hawks||2014||Men's soccer||Empire 8
|Howard University||Washington, D.C.||1867||Private||Bison||2014||Men's soccer||MEAC|
|University of Idaho||Moscow, Idaho||1889||Public||Vandals||2014[b 1]||Football||Big Sky|
|New Mexico State University||Las Cruces, New Mexico||1888||Public||Aggies||2014[b 2]||Football||WAC|
- Idaho played Sun Belt football from 2001 to 2005.
- New Mexico State joined the Sun Belt as a full member in 2000, and brought its football team into the league the next year. NMSU left the conference in 2005.
References[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sun Belt Conference|
- Sun Belt Conference (September 1, 2015). "Coastal Carolina to Join Sun Belt Conference". Press release. http://sunbeltsports.org/news/2015/9/1/GENERAL_0901151041.aspx. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Sun Belt Conference (March 1, 2016). "Sun Belt Football to Be 10 Teams in 2018". Press release. http://sunbeltsports.org/news/2016/3/1/FB_0301161055.aspx. Retrieved March 1, 2016.