- Sun Belt Conference
Infobox Athletic Conference
name = Sun Belt Conference
established = 1976
logo_size = 150
association = NCAA
subdivision = FBS
members = 13
sports = 19
mens = 9
womens = 10
Southern United States
hq_city = New Orleans
hq_stateabb = LA
hq_state = Louisiana
commissioner = Wright Waters
since = 1999
website = http://www.sunbeltsports.org/
color = FCA120
font_color = 000000
map_size = 275The Sun Belt Conference is a college athletic conference that has been affiliated with the NCAA's Division I since 1976. Its football teams participate in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the higher of two levels of Division I football competition (formerly known as Division I-A). The Sun Belt has member institutions distributed primarily across the southern
After the 1990-91
basketballseason, all members of the Sun Belt except Western Kentucky, South Alabama, Jacksonville, and incoming member Arkansas-Little Rock departed for other conferences. The Sun Belt then merged with the American South Conference, made up of Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Texas-Pan American, New Orleans, Lamar, and Central Florida.
The conference did not sponsor football until 2001, when the league added New Mexico State, North Texas and Middle Tennessee as full members and added Louisiana-Monroe (ULM) and Idaho as "football only" members. Utah State was added as a "football only" member in 2003, then departed in 2005 with Idaho and New Mexico State for the WAC.
ULM and FAU joined the league as a member in all sports on July 1, 2005. Western Kentucky will join the Sun Belt Conference for football in 2009 after its Board of Regents voted to upgrade the school's football program to Division I FBS. [cite web|url=http://wku.edu/news/releases06/november/football.html|publisher=
Western Kentucky University|title=WKU Regents Approve Move To Division 1-A Football|date=2006-11-02|accessdate=2006-11-03]
South Alabama will begin fielding a football team in 2009, with the intention of moving up to full FBS status by 2013.
The Sun Belt conference office has been headquartered in downtown
New Orleanssince 2000, after moving from suburban Metairie, Louisianawhere it had been based since 1991. Prior to moving to the “Big Easy” the league was based in Tampa, Floridafrom 1977-1991. The original conference office was located in Charlotte, North Carolinafrom 1976-77.
*Jim Lessig (1990-1991)
*Craig Thompson (1991-1998)
"* North Texas won the conference's automatic bowl bid because it won the head-to-head game against Middle Tennessee. Also, North Texas had a losing overall record in 2001 and was not technically bowl-eligible, but the NCAA granted the team an exemption because it had won the conference. This is similar to what is granted to a basketball or baseball team which has a losing overall record but wins its conference tournament."
"** Arkansas State won the conference's automatic bowl bid through a three-way tiebreaker."
"*** Troy won the conference's automatic bowl bid through a tiebreaker by virtue of its head-to-head victory against Middle Tennessee, and Middle Tennessee earned a bid to the
Motor City Bowlin Detroit."
"**** Florida Atlantic won the conference's automatic bowl bid through a tiebreaker by virtue of its head-to-head victory against Troy."
Sun Belt Men's Basketball Tournament
List of Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Locations
Sun Belt Women's Basketball Tournament
The Sun Belt Conference sponsors intercollegiate competition in men’s
baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s football, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, women’s softball, women’s swimmingand diving, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball. While the conference does not sponsor men's soccer, four schools do have teams, with Denver competing in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, Florida Atlantic in the Atlantic Soccer Conference, Florida International in Conference USA, and Western Kentucky in the Missouri Valley Conference.
*Georgia State - 1976-1981
*Jacksonville - 1976-1998
*Charlotte - 1976-1991
*South Florida - 1976-1991
*UAB - 1979-1991
*Virginia Commonwealth - 1979-1991
*Old Dominion - 1982-1991
*UCF - 1991-1992
*Lamar - 1991-1998
*Texas-Pan American - 1991-1998
*Louisiana Tech - 1991-2001
*New Mexico State - 2001-2005
*Idaho ("football only") - 2001-2005
*Utah State ("football only") - 2003-2005
Missouri State, Southern Illinois,
University of Evansville, Eastern Michigan University, Ball State University, University of Buffaloand Miami Universitybegan competing with the Sun Belt in men's swimming and diving, in 2008.
Sun Belt Conference Baseball Tournament
* [http://www.sunbeltsports.org/ Sun Belt Conference]
Notes and references
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