College notebook

Ga. Southern, App St. leaving for Sun Belt

ECU to join Big East in all sports; Upstate AD quits

The Associated PressMarch 27, 2013 

Two of the most dominant programs in the Football Championship Subdivision are moving up to Football Bowl Subdivision.

Georgia Southern and Appalachian State announced in separate news conferences on their campuses Wednesday their athletics programs are leaving the Southern Conference to join the Sun Belt Conference in 2014.

Idaho and New Mexico State also announced they have accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt next year in football only.

Georgia Southern’s football team has won 10 Southern Conference titles and six national championships since 1985. Appalachian State has won 10 conference titles and three national championships.

ECU all-in with Big East

East Carolina will join the soon-to-be-renamed Big East as an all-sports member, instead of just for football as originally planned.

East Carolina had already been set to join Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida and the rest of the Big East football schools in 2014. But with the recent split of the football and basketball schools, the football side has decided to give up the name Big East and needed to add more members for all sports.

East Carolina is leaving Conference USA.

A person with knowledge of the decision says Tulsa will also be added to the Big East soon.

USC Upstate AD leaving

USC Upstate athletics director Mike Hall has resigned after 19 years to become commissioner of the Southern States Athletic Conference in the NAIA.

Hall helped the Spartans’ athletics department move from NCAA Division II to Division I in the Atlantic Sun Conference. He also oversaw $10 million in facility and infrastructure upgrades.

Hall began his tenure at USC Upstate in 1994. He said it was time for him to move in a new direction.

Irish receivers bolt

Notre Dame says freshmen wide receivers Davonte’ Neal and Justin Ferguson are no longer with the team.

Coach Brian Kelly also said that running back Amir Carlisle, who missed last season with a leg injury, is out for the rest of spring practice with a broken collarbone.

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