Football divisions remain, changes in other sports approved in 2022 Sun Belt Spring Meetings

Arkansas State is one of 14 members of the Sun Belt Conference
Arkansas State is one of 14 members of the Sun Belt Conference(Source: Sun Belt Conference)
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 9:59 AM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 6:56 PM CDT
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Sun Belt Conference administrators and coaches wrapped up four days of spring meetings at the Hilton Sandestin Beach in Miramar Beach, Florida on Friday.The annual meetings included the Faculty Athletics Representatives, Athletics Directors, Senior Woman Administrators, head football coaches and women’s and men’s head basketball coaches from each of the 14 Sun Belt member institutions. Representatives from James Madison, Old Dominion, Marshall, and Southern Miss, which officially join the conference on July 1, were present for the meetings.

Attendees included Individuals from the NCAA Division I Transformation Committee, NCAA national office, the College Football Playoff, Cure Bowl, Lending Tree Bowl, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association and Van Wagner along with several sponsorship partners.

Awards were presented to five basketball head coaches for milestone wins during the 2021-22 season. In women’s basketball, App State’s Angel Elderkin (100th career win), Texas State’s Zenarae Antoine (150th career win) and Troy University’s Chanda Rigby (400th career win). In men’s basketball, South Alabama’s Richie Riley (100th career win) and Troy University’s Scott Cross (250th career win).

Recommendations from the spring meetings will be reviewed by the Sun Belt Presidents and Chancellors at a meeting the first week of June. An announcement with additional information will take place once that meeting has concluded.

The group heard a presentation from Julie Cromer, AD at Ohio University, Co-Chair of the Transformation Committee and Jenn Fraser, NCAA Managing Director of Division I about the work of the Transformation Committee. They provided an updated and shared some concepts that the Transformation Committee is evaluating. Mark Cunningham, Sun Belt Antitrust Attorney, also attended.

The ADs reaffirmed their commitment to divisional scheduling in football and that the Sun Belt football championship game will be the West Division Champion versus the East Division Champion. They also approved a recommendation from the volleyball coaches to allow all 14 teams to participate in the women’s volleyball championship conducted in November in Foley, AL. The ADs made a commitment to improving men’s and women’s basketball outcomes. They had a comprehensive discussion about all the factors that must be considered and identified a process to position Sun Belt men’s and women’s basketball for greater success. The ADs approved instant replay for both baseball and softball. They also increased the conference required number of broadcasts for baseball and softball. The ADs noted the success of Sun Belt baseball and softball and determined that a strategic plan to ensure continued excellence should be developed for both sports. Heading into the 2022 season, its first as a 14-member football conference, the Sun Belt continues to lead the FBS with a .649 bowl winning percentage.The Sun Belt concludes its sports season this week with the conference’s baseball championship at the Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, AL.

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