Georgia State’s individual sports will compete in the Sun Belt Conference this fall, while its team sports will play in the Colonial Athletic Association during the upcoming athletic season. The decision seemingly finalizes Georgia State’s athletics future until all of its teams move to the Sun Belt in 2013-14.
“It’s a good resolution in a transitional year,” athletic director Cheryl Levick said.
The individual sports that can play in the Sun Belt tournaments are: men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis.
Levick said she didn’t ask for the Sun Belt to consider the team sports because of scheduling issues.
The Panthers announced in April they were leaving the CAA for the Sun Belt, effective July 1, 2013. Citing its bylaws, the CAA ruled in June that Georgia State would not be allowed to compete for conference championships in the 2012-13 year in team sports because it resigned from the conference. It did decide to allow individuals in certain sports (cross country, swimming and diving, track and field and wrestling) to compete in championships.
Trying to find a way to allow as many students as possible to have a chance to play in NCAA tournaments, Levick turned to the Sun Belt. The conference voted on July 20 to allow Georgia State’s 10 individual sports to compete in their conference tournaments for the 2012-13 year as associate members. CAA commissioner Tom Yeager agreed to this proposal. Individual sports in the CAA and Sun Belt don’t play regular-season conference schedules.
Men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will play in the CAA this fall. They won’t be eligible to play in the CAA conference tournaments, whose champions received automatic berths to NCAA tournaments, but are eligible to be selected for the NCAA’s as at-large teams.
Every team sport other than football will compete in the Sun Belt and be eligible for its conference tournaments in 2013-14. Football will be eligible to win the Sun Belt and go to bowl games in 2014.
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– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu