Report: ASUN ‘likely to add’ JSU as part of conference expansion

Cocky shows out on the field as the Marching Southerners and Ballerinas perform on Oct. 5, 2019. (Abigail Read/JSU)Cocky shows out on the field as the Marching Southerners and Ballerinas perform on Oct. 5, 2019. (Abigail Read/JSU)

Thomas Ashworth, Correspondent

The Atlantic Sun Conference released a statement on Monday detailing a “major expansion plan” for the conference, with the potential of adding Jacksonville State and others, according to media reports.

 “On November 6, the ASUN Presidents’ Council confirmed its commitment to multi-school expansion, and approved specific action steps to put the ASUN at the forefront of mid-major conference realignment in the southeast,” the ASUN press release reads.

Kendall Rogers, the co-managing editor of D1Baseball, tweeted Monday that the conference voted to enter into a 60-day negotiating period with hopes of adding Eastern Kentucky, Central Arkansas and Jacksonville State. An hour later, Jeff Goodman of Stadium later confirmed Rogers’ tweet, saying that the conference is “likely” to add those three teams.

“Despite changing dynamics in conference realignment based on institutional moves over the past six months and the new reality of financial stress from the pandemic, the ASUN continues to lead the discussion on realignment in its footprint,” the press release read.

From 1995 to 2003, JSU was a part of the Atlantic Sun Conference before it joined the Ohio Valley Conference and has won 78 OVC championships since joining. This includes five straight OVC championships from the Gamecocks football team from 2014 to 2019.

ASUN league members who play football are considered provisional members of the Big South Conference for football, but the conference itself doesn’t have that sport.

Attempts to reach JSU Athletic Director Greg Seitz for comment on Friday were unsuccessful.

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