On Wednesday, the ASUN Conference and Commissioner Ted Gumbart issued a very confusing statement that the league membership has “committed to a full exploration of multiple expansion opportunities. In one of the future scenarios, the current ASUN members partner with expansion members to form a new DI multisport conference.”
The ASUN would collaborate with the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) to build a new multisport conference. The CCSA currently sponsors three Division I sports – Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving and Women’s Beach Volleyball. Liberty is a member of the CCSA for Women’s Swimming & Diving, and the Flames also joined the ASUN prior to the start of the 2018-19 season.
The ASUN plans to do this first by expanding from 10 to 20 members by June 2023. The league would then transfer rights to the ASUN name and marks to the CCSA.
Seven current members of the ASUN Conference – Stetson, Jacksonville, Lipscomb, Kennesaw State, North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast and New Jersey Institute of Technology – dubbed the ASUN 7 will have played together for eight consecutive years by 2023 to become part of a “continuity” group that can start a new conference.
The ASUN 7 would join the CCSA on July 1, 2023, which would then be called the ASUN. The remaining members of the ASUN, not including the ASUN 7, would form a new conference. This would include Liberty. The United Athletic Conference is listed as a placeholder name for this new conference which will sponsor scholarship FCS football.
There’s so much to digest in this release and how it will impact Liberty, but at first glance this proposal would place the Flames in the UAC, a new conference which would sponsor scholarship FCS football. The ASUN 7 would not be part of this new league.