So, are y’all as excited as I am? It’s here!
ASUN Football is here!!
What’s being called the “worst kept secret in FCS” in recent days by some has been an exciting few months for ASUN fans, especially the last few weeks!
The rumors started to trickle out last November that Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, and Jacksonville State would be leaving their respective conferences and joining in the ASUN in an effort for the conference to begin sponsoring football.
SCOOP: Some potentially interesting baseball news could be on the horizon. @ASUNSports Presidents have voted to enter in to a 60-day negotiating period with hopes of adding Eastern Kentucky, Central Arkansas and Jacksonville State to the #ASUN.
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) November 16, 2020
How Things Have Been
Several current ASUN schools already sponsor football but not within the conference. Kennesaw State and recent newcomer, North Alabama, have been playing in the Big South, while Stetson plays in the non-scholarship Pioneer League – all as affiliates to those conferences within the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Liberty has transitioned to FBS in recent seasons while Jacksonville (who also played in the Pioneer League with Stetson) dropped football in 2019.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, UCA AD Brad Teague made a surprise appearance on a sports talk program and dropped a few, more concrete, bombshells of what was about to happen. He shared that his program, Central Arkansas, would be joining the ASUN with three other schools to help form a new FCS football league.
Here’s a little on what the new conference will look like.
— Josh Goff (@Josh_Goff) January 15, 2021
Even more online speculation and chaos ensued earlier this week when someone at EKU tried to be proactive and stealthily publish (assumingly, for quick release later) an FAQ about Eastern Kentucky’s move to the ASUN addressing several questions about the process.
A now removed page on the EKU Athletics site indicated that EKU and Jacksonville State would join Central Arkansas in moving to the ASUN this July, and that ASUN Football could start immediately with an FCS Playoff autobid. (h/t @Maroon_Nation) pic.twitter.com/iVlb82HNQd
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) January 25, 2021
Making It Official
After the early week hype, Jacksonville State made a more public confirmation of the rumors as their Board of Trustees officially gave their President the approval to seek a new athletics conference.
Then, as of today, the ASUN Conference has scheduled a “major announcement” for Friday, January 29, and 11 AM EST on ESPN+.
📢 The ASUN Conference Has Something to Say‼️
Tune in Friday to ESPN+ at 11 AM ET for a MAJOR Announcement. #ASUNBuilt
— #ASUNBuilt (@ASUNSports) January 27, 2021
Here’s a map of how the new conference would look:
Eastern Kentucky athletics released this map of the new ASUN landscape, with new member schools Jax State, Central Arkansas and EKU set to join. Official announcement expected next month. pic.twitter.com/gHe5KrVGiI
— Michael Hebert (@md_hebert55) January 25, 2021