As we first reported two days ago, Texas State University will leave the Western Athletic Conference after one season to join the Sun Belt Conference. The move was formally announced at a press conference this morning. Here is the university’s release:
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Texas State University President Denise Trauth and Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson announced Wednesday that Texas State has accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference as an all-sports member beginning in 2013-14.
“Texas State University has worked very hard to be ready for FBS competition and joining the Sun Belt Conference represents a new opportunity for our future,” said Dr. Trauth. “The Sun Belt Conference’s record of competitive success over more than 35 years provides a tradition of excellence that we are happy to join. Our students and alumni will bring a very strong fan base that will welcome these new opportunities. Just as Texas State is the rising star of Texas, we believe that the Sun Belt Conference is also on the rise and we are happy to be a part of its future.”
“Texas State is a great addition to the Sun Belt Conference as the Bobcat athletic program is destined for success in the Football Bowl Subdivision,” said Commissioner Benson. “The Sun Belt Conference’s rise to prominence will continue with Texas State as part of our league.”
With the move, Texas State joins current Sun Belt Conference members Arkansas State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, South Alabama, Troy and Western Kentucky. In addition, Georgia State also will join the conference in 2013.
“We are very excited about becoming a member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2013,” said Texas State Athletic Director Larry Teis. “We know that our student-athletes will be eager to succeed in the Sun Belt, and we will enter the conference ready to compete. We look forward to building new rivalries with some Sun Belt schools and renewing rivalries with others. The Sun Belt Conference encompasses eight states from Texas to Florida that are rich in college athletic traditions, especially in the sport of FBS football.”
Founded in 1899, Texas State has an enrollment of more than 34,000 students and sponsors 16 men’s and women’s athletic teams. The Bobcats will compete in the Western Athletic Conference during the 2012-13 academic year and play their first home football game against Texas Tech on Sept. 8.
In preparation for Texas State’s jump to the Football Bowl Subdivision, Bobcat Stadium will have an increased seating capacity of 30,000 with the addition of a North End Zone Complex.
Since 2000, the Bobcats have won 46 Southland Conference championships, including the 2005 and 2008 football titles. Texas State advanced to the 2005 FCS semifinals and appeared in the 2008 FCS playoffs, while Bobcat volleyball, soccer, women’s golf, baseball and softball teams have appeared in the NCAA Tournament during the last two seasons.