A-State Womenâ€™s Baskteball THE SUN BELT CONFERENCE Formed in 1976 the Sun Belt Conference quickly rose to the greatest heights of collegiate athletics by sending a team to the NCAA Final Four in the league's first year of existence. Fast forward 36 years and the league again finds itself at the pinnacle of collegiate athletics as a member of the 11-league alliance of the Bowl Championship Series. During the 2012-13 season the Sun Belt Conference's membership will consist of Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, FIU, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, South Alabama, Troy and Western Kentucky University. Ten of the 11 current Sun Belt members play football at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level. As the conference moves forward to the year 2013, the league will be comprised of 12 members with ArkansasLittle Rock, Arkansas State, Georgia State, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee, South Alabama, Texas-Arlington, Texas State, Troy and Western Kentucky University. The reformatted league will have 10 football playing members of the 12 total members. The league's new look will feature two evenly matched and geographically logical divisions divided into an East Division and West Division. Because of its status as a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision, the Sun Belt Conference has a permanent seat on the NCAA's 18-member Board of Directors. As a result, the conference has a crucial voice on some of the most pressing issues in college athletics and will always have a role in the implementation of any future NCAA legislation and guidelines. The conference continues to utilize television to grow and promote the league and its member institutions. The Sun Belt Conference signed a new multi-year agreement with ESPN, Inc. in 2012 that will result in unprecedented national coverage for the league. Fans of the Sun Belt Conference ca look forward to seeing more Sun Belt teams playing on national television on ESPN and ESPN2 and additionally the new ESPN deal will result in more coverage on ESPNU. ESPN will continue to televise the conference's men's basketball championship game for the 32nd straight season in 2013, marking its longest affiliation with any conference in the country.
matic tie-ins to postseason bowl games. The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl agreement with the Sun Belt Conference ensures that a Sun Belt team will play in that bowl game through 2013 (the league has sent a team to that game every year since the game's inception in 2001). The Sun Belt Conference also recently signed an extension with the GoDaddy.com Bowl, played annually in Mobile, Alabama, that will ensure that a Sun Belt team plays in that bowl game through 2017. Over 95 percent of Sun Belt Conference teams earned a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) of over 925 as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released its annual APR report recently. The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years. The Division I Board of Directors set cut scores of 925 and 900 (out of 1,000) as a threshold for teams to meet or face possible immediate and historical sanctions. In total, 95.2 percent of Sun Belt Conference teams earned a multi-year APR score over 925. Eight institutions had 100 percent of their programs score above the 925 mark, those institutions are: UALR, Denver, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana-Lafayette, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Troy and Western Kentucky. The league's APR numbers are up compared to a year ago, as Sun Belt Conference institutions improved from 92.4 percent of all programs hitting the 925 threshold. Prominent Sun Belt alumni include NFL Hall of Fame football player "Mean" Joe Greene (North Texas) former AllStar baseball player Luis Gonzalez (South Alabama), former All-Star baseball player Mike Lowell (2007 MLB World Series MVP, FIU), former member of the United States Senate and House of Representatives John Breaux (LouisianaLafayette), country music superstar Tim McGraw (Louisiana-Monroe) and actor Andy Garcia (FIU). The conference's first 36 years have also produced numerous individual national champions along with Olympic track medalists including Earl Bell, Tom Hill and Al Joyner (Arkansas State), Hollis Conway (Louisiana-Lafayette), and Tayna Lawrence (FIU). Old Dominion's Anne Donovan, who received the Naismith Trophy recognizing the nation's top women's basketball player in 1983, helped the United States win the Olympic gold medal in 1984 and helped the Lady Monarchs capture the national championship in 1985.
The conference's regional television partnership with Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) and Cox Sports Television (CST) enables live telecasts of Sun Belt events to reach millions of households. The addition of volleyball, baseball and softball to the conference's television package has resulted in more national and regional television exposure for the league than at any time in its history. Since the 2007 football season, the Sun Belt Conference ranks fifth out of the 11 FBS conferences in postseason bowl game winning percentage. In fact, the Sun Belt Conference ranks ahead of noted "Big Six" leagues - the ACC, Pac-12 and the Big Ten. Furthermore, the Sun Belt Conference outpaces its non-automatic qualifying BCS partners in the WAC, Conference USA and the MAC. The world has taken notice of the Sun Belt Conference as well. Proof of that comes as the league now has two auto-
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2012-13 Arkansas State Women's Basketball Reference Guide