Is the Atlantic Sun Conference, of which Belmont University is a member, headed for changes as a result of realignment of some of the big university athletic conferences? Perhaps, reports the Associated Press, noting that A-Sun member Georgia State University is expressing interesting in leaving the A-Sun for the Atlantic 10, the Southern Conference or Conference USA.
The 11-team league has six small, private schools that have little in common with Georgia State – Belmont in Nashville; Campbell University in Buie Creek, North Carolina; Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, North Carolina; Jacksonville University in Florida; newcomer Lipscomb in Nashville; Mercer in Macon and Stetson in Deland, Florida.
Georgia State President Carl Patton says the school would like to be in a league with bigger schools like itself and attract bigger audiences. If changes are afoot in the conference, Patton said, “We need to either bring some other larger schools into the Atlantic Sun, or we need to look into another conference.”
Troy State, the A-Sun’s representative in the 2003 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, will exit the conference for the Sun Belt Conference one year from now.
Another A-Sun member, Central Florida, “also could be moving on as a result of the trickle down effect from ACC expansion,” the AP reports.
Belmont University President Dr. Robert Fisher is president of the A-Sun Conference.