Atlantic Sun Conference
The Atlantic Sun Conference, branded since the 2016–17 school year as the ASUN Conference, is a NCAA conference whose members play in the NCAA Division I. The conference is headquartered in Atlanta and mostly features universities and colleges from the southeastern United States. The ASUN does not play football, but plans to add that sport, most likely in 2022.
The ASUN began in 1978 as the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC). It became the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2001.
Members[change | change source]
As of the 2020–21 school year, the ASUN has nine full members, or schools that play almost all of their sports in the conference.
|Bellarmine University||Louisville, Kentucky||1950||Private||Knights||2020|
|Florida Gulf Coast University||Fort Myers, Florida||1991||Public||Eagles||2007|
|Jacksonville University||Jacksonville, Florida||1934||Private||Dolphins||1998|
|Kennesaw State University||Kennesaw, Georgia||1963||Public||Owls||2005|
|Liberty University||Lynchburg, Virginia||1971||Private||Flames||2018|
|Lipscomb University||Nashville, Tennessee||1891||Private||Bisons||2003|
|University of North Alabama||Florence, Alabama||1830||Public||Lions||2018|
|University of North Florida||Jacksonville, Florida||1969||Public||Ospreys||2005|
|Stetson University||DeLand, Florida||1883||Private||Hatters||1985|
The most recent membership changes took effect in July 2020 with the arrival of Bellarmine University from the Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference and the departure of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) for the America East Conference.
Future members[change | change source]
The ASUN will add three new members in July 2021, all of which play football in Division I FCS, the second level of the NCAA sport. While four current ASUN members play football, two will not play in any potential ASUN football league. Stetson plays in FCS, but does not award football scholarships, unlike all other present and future ASUN football-playing schools. It will continue to play in the Pioneer Football League, a football-only conference that does not allow its members to award football scholarships. Liberty plays in the top tier of NCAA football, Division I FBS. Also, another ASUN member with football, North Alabama, is currently moving from NCAA Division II and will not be eligible for the FCS championship until 2022. Even after North Alabama completes this move, the ASUN will have only five members for its future football league—one shy of the six needed to earn an automatic place in the FCS championship tournament.
At a February 23, 2021 press conference, the ASUN and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) jointly announced that the two conferences had entered into a football partnership. The WAC had announced plans to restart a football league at the FCS level starting in the 2021 season, but lacked enough football-playing members to receive an automatic FCS playoff berth. The three incoming ASUN members will play in the WAC football league until the ASUN starts its own football league, most likely in 2022.
|University of Central Arkansas||Conway, Arkansas||1907||Public||Bears & Sugar Bears||2021|
|Eastern Kentucky University||Richmond, Kentucky||1874||Public||Colonels||2021|
|Jacksonville State University||Jacksonville, Alabama||1883||Public||Gamecocks||2021|
- Jacksonville State had been a conference member from 1995 to 2003.
Associate members[change | change source]
The ASUN also has three "associate members" that play one or two sports in the conference while being full members of another conference. While one of these schools will leave in July 2021, five new schools will join at that time when the ASUN restarts a men's lacrosse league, which it had shut down when it began a lacrosse partnership with the Southern Conference (SoCon).
The "Joined" column shows the year in which a school joined the ASUN. Since all ASUN sports that have, or will have, associate members (beach volleyball and men's and women's lacrosse) are spring sports, this means the year of joining is the calendar year before the first season of ASUN play.
Current[change | change source]
|Coastal Carolina University||Conway, South Carolina||1954||Public||Chanticleers||2015 (BV)
|Sun Belt Conference|
|Howard University||Washington, D.C.||1867||Private||Lady Bison||2012||Women's lacrosse||Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference|
|Mercer University||Macon, Georgia||1833||Private||Bears||2014||Beach volleyball||Southern Conference|
Future[change | change source]
|United States Air Force Academy (Air Force)||Colorado Springs, Colorado||1954||Federal||Falcons||2021||Men's lacrosse||Mountain West Conference|
|Cleveland State University||Cleveland, Ohio||1964||Public||Vikings||2021||Men's lacrosse||Horizon League|
|University of Detroit Mercy||Detroit, Michigan||1877||Private||Titans||2021||Men's lacrosse||Horizon League|
|Robert Morris University||Moon Township, Pennsylvania||1921||Private||Colonials||2021||Men's lacrosse||Horizon League|
|University of Utah||Salt Lake City, Utah||1850||Public||Utes||2021||Men's lacrosse||Pac-12 Conference|
References[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Atlantic Sun Conference.|
- ASUN Conference (January 29, 2021). "ASUN Conference Announces Three New Institutions; Adds Football as 20th Sport". Press release. https://asunsports.org/general/2020-21/releases/20210126nthmsg. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
- ASUN Conference (June 18, 2019). "ASUN Conference Announces Addition of Bellarmine University". Press release. http://asunsports.org/general/2018-19/releases/20190617o5yrum. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
- "NJIT to Join America East Conference as 10th Member Institution - NJIT Highlanders". NJIT Highlanders. June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- ASUN Conference (February 23, 2021). "ASUN, WAC Conferences Announce Football Partnership for 2021". Press release. https://asunsports.org/sports/fball/2020-21/releases/20210223bff9nn. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
- ASUN Conference (February 5, 2021). "ASUN Conference Announces Formation of Men's Lacrosse League". Press release. https://asunsports.org/general/2020-21/releases/20210205djyk6a. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
- Southern Conference (January 9, 2014). "SoCon, ASUN Partner to Enhance Lacrosse". Press release. http://www.soconsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=4000&ATCLID=209368200&SPID=1790&SPSID=21983. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- Howard Bison (July 6, 2020). "Six Howard Athletics Programs Join the Northeast Conference as Associate Members". Press release. https://hubison.com/news/2020/7/6/general-six-howard-athletics-programs-join-the-northeast-conference-as-associate-members.aspx. Retrieved July 11, 2020.