James Madison officially joins the Sun Belt Conference

James Madison University is now officially a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
James Madison University is now officially a member of the Sun Belt Conference.(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 9:41 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 9:48 AM EDT
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James Madison officially joins the Sun Belt Conference

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - James Madison University is now officially a member of the Sun Belt Conference.

The Dukes, along with Old Dominion, Marshall, and Southern Mississippi, became members of the league the moment the calendar moved to July 1. James Madison announced it was joining the Sun Belt in November 2021 while the other three programs made their decisions to join the SBC public in October 2021.

To watch our coverage of James Madison’s announcement about joining the Sun Belt Conference, click here.

“We are excited to officially welcome James Madison, Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Miss as members of the Sun Belt Conference,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Keith Gill in a statement. “This expansion to 14 members—and the regional rivalries it produces—makes the 2022-23 academic year one of the most anticipated in Sun Belt history and signals the bright future that lies ahead for the conference.”

The Sun Belt Conference is made up of 14 members: Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, James Madison, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe (ULM), Marshall, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Texas State and Troy.

JMU joins the Sun Belt after competing as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association since 1983.

“On behalf of the intercollegiate athletics program at JMU, our administration, staff and coaches, I’m so excited for this move and what it will mean for our programs,” said JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne in a statement. “JMU Athletics has positioned itself as a national entity in the collegiate athletics landscape, and the Sun Belt Conference provides the perfect stage to continue that trajectory.”

James Madison will be begin competing as a full-time member in the Sun Belt Conference this fall. The football program will be ineligible for a bowl game in 2022 as the Dukes continue their transition from the FCS to the FBS.

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