=== Georgia State departs CAA for Sun Belt ===
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Georgia State has accepted an invitation to
join the Sun Belt Conference, effective July 1, 2013, the university announced
It will become the third school in the Peach State to play football at the
FBS level, along with Georgia and Georgia Tech, when it officially begins
conference play in the 2013 season. The university's football program is just
two years old.
"For the past two years, the athletic department has worked tirelessly to
build a top notch athletic department and a solid foundation in our football
program," said GSU athletic director Cheryl Levick. "One of the biggest
strides we've taken is today. We've taken a big step up to the Sun Belt
Conference, because it is one of just eleven conferences in the nation who are
members of the Bowl Championship Series."
Georgia State was a charter member of the Sun Belt in 1976, but departed for
what is now the Atlantic Sun in 1984. It moved to the Colonial Athletic
Association in 2005.
"The addition of Georgia State to the Sun Belt Conference provides further
strength for our league and is the beginning of a new era for GSU that will
unquestionably be a time of great success for the Panther athletic program,"
said Sun Belt Conference commissioner Karl Benson. "We strongly believe that
the addition of GSU will continue to help the Sun Belt Conference in its rise
The Panthers will be eligible for the conference's championship and further
postseason play beginning in 2014.
"Georgia State's withdrawal from the CAA and CAA Football is predicated on the
university's desire to reclassify to FBS football which requires membership in
an FBS league," said commissioner Tom Yeager. "We've been aware that GSU was
having discussions with the Sun Belt Conference as the CAA could not
accommodate that desire within GSU's timeframe. The conference wishes the
university well as it pursues these new interests."
04/09 17:34:42 ET