EKU officially joins ASUN Conference
RICHMOND, Ky. (EKU Sports) – Eastern Kentucky University and all 16 of its athletics teams officially joined the ASUN Conference today, July 1, 2021.
All EKU teams will be immediately eligible for conference awards, postseason play and NCAA Tournament automatic bids.
“We could not be more excited to start competing in the ASUN Conference,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Matt Roan said. “From the conference’s Beams of Students First, Impact, Connect, and Rise, to its leadership at the conference office and on its campuses, to its footprint, the ASUN and EKU are aligned. For our student-athletes, students, alumni, fans and for the entire university community, this is an exciting time to be a Colonel as we begin to add to our storied past and make new history.”
During the 2020-21 season, the ASUN qualified multiple teams for national postseason tournaments in six sports – baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s golf and softball – producing a total of 10 victories. The ASUN had 16 All-Americans along with the Women’s Basketball Mid-Major Player of the Year recipient. In addition, more than 70 percent of ASUN student-athletes have earned a year-long 3.0 GPA each of the past four years.
ASUN institutions have consistently competed at a high level on the national stage. ASUN men’s basketball teams combined for eight wins in the last two postseasons with a trip to the NIT finals, women’s basketball teams have consistently earned top-12 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, baseball teams have advanced to NCAA Super Regionals twice in the last seven years, cross country teams have combined for 27 top-10 NCAA regional performances since 2010, soccer teams have multiple NCAA Tournament match wins since 2015, softball teams have consistently won NCAA Tournament games for more than 20 years, volleyball teams earned a NCAA Tournament match victory in 2018 and had two postseason wins in 2019, track & field athletes regularly compete in NCAA Championships and won a national title in 2019, and the ASUN has consistently been a NCAA Golf Regional multi-bid league for 20-plus years.
The ASUN will begin sponsorship of scholarship football in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). For the 2021 season only, the ASUN Conference and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) have agreed on a one-year football scheduling alliance. Presented as the ASUN-WAC Challenge, the agreement will allow for seven institutions – three ASUN members and four WAC members – to be eligible for automatic qualification into the 2021 NCAA FCS Playoffs.
The alliance will feature Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State from the ASUN Conference, and Abilene Christian, Lamar University, Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin from the WAC. The seven schools will play a single round-robin, with each institution having three home contests and three road contests. The team with the highest winning percentage shall receive the automatic qualification to the 2021 FCS Playoffs. The primary focus of the next ASUN expansion phase will be to move to six football members that play scholarship FCS football. This will allow the ASUN to qualify for an FCS playoff spot without relying on a conference partnership.
In talks with the ASUN, EKU recognized that the conference lives by its Beams of STUDENTS FIRST, RISE, CONNECT and IMPACT. These values drive conference decision-making and Eastern Kentucky shares that commitment to the ASUN Beams.
In addition to EKU, Jacksonville State University and the University of Central Arkansas are also officially joining the ASUN Conference today.
With these additions, the ASUN expands its geographic footprint to seven states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia) and now features 12 of the top-80 media markets in the nation and seven of the top-50.
Membership in the ASUN Conference gives EKU a strong footprint in a region of the country that is growing. The ASUN has universities in two of the top 11 fastest growing states in the nation. The partnership will offer access to prospective students, alumni and donors. Nearly 100,000 Eastern Kentucky University alumni live in the ASUN footprint. Excellent media markets throughout the ASUN offer opportunities to reach these audiences.
EKU football season tickets for the 2021 season are on sale now through the EKU Ticket Office. Season tickets can be purchased for as low as $6.50 per game with premium chairback seating available for less than $35 per game. Overall packages start at just $39 for the 2021 season. Tickets can be purchased online NOW. Please contact the EKU Ticket Office at email@example.com or 844-3-GOBIGE with additional questions.
About the ASUN Conference
The ASUN Conference is the only NCAA Division I conference headquartered in Atlanta, the conference footprint’s primary media, sports, business, transportation and cultural hub. The ASUN boasts a membership of institutions that share visionary leadership, bold ambition and creative innovation. As a nimble adaptive conference, unafraid to blaze a national pathway for better service to our student-athletes, teams, and institutions, the ASUN has a proud history of firsts, national academic and athletic achievements and a conference culture that walks the walk with its four ASUN Beams. Students First! Rise. Connect. Impact. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Bellarmine University, Eastern Kentucky University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville State University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, University of Central Arkansas, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University.