Sun Belt Conference

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The 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 United States. It has 12 universities and colleges.

Contents

History

The Sun Belt Conference was founded on August 4, 1976 with New Orleans, South Alabama, Georgia State, Jacksonville, UNC Charlotte and South Florida. Over the next ten years the conference would add Western Kentucky, Old Dominion, UAB, and Virginia Commonwealth. Also, New Orleans was forced out of the league in 1980 due to its small on-campus gymnasium that the Conference did not deem suitable for Conference competition. UNO competed as an independent before joining the newly-formed American South Conference in 1987.

After the 199091 basketball season, 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 Louisiana-Lafayette), Texas-Pan American, New Orleans, Lamar, and Central Florida. UCF left the league following the 1991-92 academic year. Lamar, Texas-Pan American and Jacksonville departed at the end of the 1997-98 academic year. FIU joined in 1998, and Denver was added in 1999. Louisiana Tech departed after the 2000-01 academic year.

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