ATLANTA--Student-athletes from 10 Georgia State teams will have the opportunity to participate in postseason play in the Sun Belt Conference in 2012-13, GSU Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick and Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson announced.
GSU will participate in the Sun Belt Conference Championships and will be considered an associate member in the league for 2012-13 in the sports of men's cross country, women's cross country, men's indoor track and field, women's indoor track and field, men's outdoor track and field, women's outdoor track and field, men's golf, women's golf, men's tennis and women's tennis.
In these individual sports, the programs compete in a conference championship tournament but do not play a regular-season conference schedule. In golf and tennis, the team champions earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships.
"We thank Commissioner Benson and the Sun Belt Conference athletics directors for their unanimous support in welcoming Georgia State to the conference and supporting our student-athletes," said Levick. "The student-athletes always come first, and we are delighted that Georgia State student-athletes in 10 sports will be able to compete in conference championships in 2012-13."
Georgia State's team sports, including men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball, will play a Colonial Athletic Association schedule in 2012-13 as planned but are unable to participate in postseason conference tournaments. These teams are eligible for NCAA at-large berths.
"Our discussions with the Sun Belt and the CAA centered only on the individual sports, and we appreciate the cooperation from both conferences to allow over 100 student-athletes a conference championship opportunity," said Levick. "It was not feasible at this late date to consider other sports due to the scheduling complications."
Georgia State will become a full member of the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2013 and will be eligible for all championships except football in 2013-14. The GSU football program will play a Sun Belt schedule in 2013 as part of the second year of its transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and then will become eligible for the Sun Belt title and postseason bowl games in 2014.
"We think that this is the right thing to do for the student-athletes of Georgia State," said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson. "Though we would have liked to accommodate all of the Panther student-athletes, the logistics and timing were such that were too many complications. We are excited to be able to provide a championship experience for many of the student-athletes of GSU."